Saturday, October 16, 2021
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KOKO Knows: The Stomach Can Digest Anything, Including Itself

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When we eat food, the stomach has the responsibility of digesting it. Unknown to many of us though is the fact that the stomach can actually digest itself too. Your stomach does not digest itself because it is lined with epithial cells, which produce mucus. This forms a barrier between the lining of the stomach and the contents. Enzymes, which make up part of the digestive juices are also secreted by the stomach wall, from glands with no mucus barrier.

To prevent the cells which produce the enzymes from being digested in the process the enzymes are produced in an inactive form, as zymogens. It is only when they pass the mucus barrier lining the stomach, and reach the stomach proper, that the enzymes are activated by other secretions and they can begin digestion of the food in the stomach. In case you haven’t made the connection yet, when your stomach does digest itself due to lack of this mucus, you develop ulcer.
Photo Credit: Getty

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