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What Is the pH of the Stomach?

Acidity of the Stomach

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The pH of the stomach varies according to several factors.

The pH of the stomach varies according to several factors, including whether or not food is present.

National Cancer Institute
Your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid, but the pH of your stomach isn't necessarily the same as the pH of the acid! The pH of your stomach varies, from 1-2 up to 4-5. When you eat, the stomach releases proteases and hydrochloric acid to aid in digestion. By itself, the acid doesn't really do much for digestion, but the proteases that cleave proteins work best in an acidic environment or low pH, so after a high-protein meal, your stomach pH may drop to as low as 1 or 2. However, buffers quickly raise the pH back to 3 or 4. After the meal has been digested, your stomach pH returns to a resting level of about 4 or 5. Your stomach secretes acid in response to food, so first thing in the morning you can expect a slightly acidic stomach pH, but not an acidic level representative of pure hydrochloric acid.

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