home › The Candida Forum › Candida Questions › Hydro-chloric Acid and Health (written by Dr. McCoombs) › Reply To: Hydro-chloric Acid and Health (written by Dr. McCoombs)
Acidity of our stomach fluids has been of vital importance throughout our history. A high acidity inside the stomach is needed to unfold the proteins in our food; only unfolded proteins can be properly broken down by our stomach’s enzymes (most notably pepsine). Thus, sufficient acidity is required for digestion.
But even if we only drink some water, the stomach will immediately increase its HCl (acid) production. This is because during our history, water could not be trusted: it could contain all kinds of bacteria and parasites, and these had to be killed through acid.
If we drink, or eat, the acidity of the stomach will decrease. That’s simply through dilution of the stomach fluid. As this decreased acidity is potentially life-threatening, the stomach closes its exit to the intestines in order to keep any possible bacteria or parasites inside the stomach. It will then immediately secrete lots of acid, until normal acidity is restored. Only when normal acidity is restored, the exit of the stomach to the intestines will open again.
This means that adding HCl is generally a bad idea. The stomach will maintain its own acidity all by itself. Adding acid could damage the stomach’s internal protective lining, resulting in ulcers.