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Discovery Magazine 3/1/2017

Why Our Stomachs Don't Digest Themselves

Did you know that your stomach uses a powerful gastric acid to digest your food and also prevent infections? Did you know that this acid is so corrosive that if you spilled some on your carpet, it would eat a hole right through the carpet? In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) treats hydrochloric acid as a toxic substance! But how can your stomach contain such a powerful acid without being burned or destroyed?

The answer lies in the amazing way God designed the stomach to work. He placed special cells in the mucous membrane in the inner lining of the stomach which contain the glands and gastric pits that secrete the acid into the stomach. The chloride and the hydrogen are secreted separately in these glands. At least five different complicated chemical actions take place at the same time to secrete the acid into the stomach.

Hydrochloric acid is very important to digestion, since it helps break down food so that digestive enzymes can take over and finish the job. That way your body gets nutrition from the food. And that’s not all; the acid also destroys invading microorganisms that enter the stomach through contaminated food.

Meanwhile goblet cells secrete a thick layer of mucus along the inner walls of the stomach to protect it from being burned. After leaving the stomach, the hydrochloric acid is quickly neutralized by sodium bicarbonate produced by the pancreas. Sodium bicarbonate is the very stuff that many people use to help their heartburn!

If you were to take the time to study the stomach, you would find that all of the things that take place there are unbelievably complicated, sophisticated, and baffling. There’s no way such activity could have evolved over millions of years. They are unmistakably the result of a Mind that is way above and beyond our minds. That Mind is the marvelous God of the Bible Who created our bodies. He is absolutely amazing!

“For You formed my inward parts…. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made”

(Psalm 139:13-14).

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