gastric juice

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gastric juice,

thin, strongly acidic (pH varying from 1 to 3), almost colorless liquid secreted by the glands in the lining of the stomach. Its essential constituents are the digestive enzymes pepsinpepsin,
enzyme produced in the mucosal lining of the stomach that acts to degrade protein. Pepsin is one of three principal protein-degrading, or proteolytic, enzymes in the digestive system, the other two being chymotrypsin and trypsin.
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 and rennin (see rennetrennet,
substance containing rennin, an enzyme having the property of clotting, or curdling, milk. It is used in the making of cheese and junket. Rennet is obtained from the stomachs of young mammals living on milk, especially from the inner lining of the fourth, or true,
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), hydrochloric acid, and mucus. Pepsin converts proteins into simpler, more easily absorbed substances; it is aided in this by hydrochloric acid, which provides the acid environment in which pepsin is most effective. Rennin aids the digestion of milk proteins. Mucus secreted by the gastric glands helps protect the stomach lining from the action of gastric juice. Gastric secretion is stimulated by a number of hormones and chemical substances, by the presence of food in the stomach, and by a number of psychological factors, such as the smell of a favorite food. A decrease or total absence of gastric juice secretion may be a congenital abnormality or a concomitant of advanced age. Certain cells of the stomach lining secrete a substance known as intrinsic factor, which is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12; absence of this substance results in pernicious anemia, or B12 deficiency (see vitaminvitamin,
group of organic substances that are required in the diet of humans and animals for normal growth, maintenance of life, and normal reproduction. Vitamins act as catalysts; very often either the vitamins themselves are coenzymes, or they form integral parts of coenzymes.
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Gastric Juice


a complex digestive juice secreted by various cells of the gastric mucosa; it is a colorless, slightly opalescent fluid. It contains the following enzymes: pro-teases (pepsins, rennin, gastricsin, and gelatinase), which accomplish the initial stages of protein decomposition; and a small quantity of lipase, which mainly decomposes emulsified fats. It also contains hydrochloric acid (concentration in humans is 0.4-0.5 percent) and mucus.

Hydrochloric acid activates enzymes and facilitates the decomposition of proteins, causing their denaturation and saturation; it conditions the bactericidal properties of gastric juice (inhibits the development of putrefactive processes in the stomach), and stimulates the secretion of gastric hormones. Hydrochloric acid in gastric juice is partly in a free state and partly bound (with proteins). The total acidity of gastric juice in man after a test breakfast is 40-60 conventional units; free acidity is 20-40 units. In some dysfunctions of the stomach, the hydrochloric-acid content of the gastric juice may increase or decrease to the point of complete absence (so-called achylia). Mucus, whose composition includes mucoproteins, protects the walls of the stomach from mechanical and chemical irritants. Gastric juice contains Castle’s intrinsic factor, which facilitates absorption of vitamin B12.

The secretion of gastric juice is determined in the first, compound-reflex phase of secretion by the appearance, odor, and taste of food; in the second, neurohumoral, phase, it is determined by chemical and mechanical stimuli to the gastric mucosa. Up to two liters of gastric juice is secreted by a human being every 24 hours. The quantity, composition, and properties of gastric juice vary according to the type of food in the stomach, and also when there are diseases of the stomach, intestine, or liver. Gastric juice is tested in humans by means of probing the stomach after the application of various natural and pharmacological stimuli; in animals it is tested by means of an artificially formed isolated stomach, according to a method perfected by I. P. Pavlov. Gastric juice obtained from animals is used internally in treating some diseases of the digestive organs.


gastric juice

[′gas·trik ‚jüs]
The digestive fluid secreted by gastric glands; contains gastric acid and enzymes.

gastric juice

a digestive fluid secreted by the stomach, containing hydrochloric acid, pepsin, rennin, etc.
References in periodicals archive ?
This, along with the digestive juices, leads to foul odour.
This operation allows stomach acid and bile to enter the esophagus and is a reasonable representation of how GERD develops in humans--acidic digestive juices from the stomach surge into the esophagus.
Snake venom is thought to have evolved from digestive juices and some snakes just hold prey with their teeth while the venom dribbles down grooves in the fangs at the back of the mouth.
After biting a victim with its fangs and injecting venom to paralyze the squirming supper, the spider spits digestive juices into its prey.
For about 5 hours, the larvae oozed digestive juices onto the meat, dissolving it into a slurpable meal.
Once swallowed, the worms most likely drowned in his stomach's digestive juices, the chemicals that break down food.
For example, we now know there are sex-based differences in both digestive juices and liver enzymes, which explains why men and women often metabolize drugs differently.
Exocrine (pronounced EX-o-krin) cells are part of the exocrine system and produce the digestive juices.
The more you chew, the more you allow time for your digestive juices to do what they're meant to do.
Until the early nineteenth century, organic chemistry was the chemistry of substances occurring naturally in animal and vegetable matter, such as blood, digestive juices, and sap.
The drug, a protein called PYY3-36, would have to be injected to avoid it being destroyed by the stomach's digestive juices.
This gland secretes digestive juices that help in breaking down foods.