The body produces stomach acid to help break down food for digestion, as well as to kill bacteria, and it is estimated that a person's body produces about 0.5 gallons (2 L) of the acid each day. The amount of stomach acid present in the average healthy human stomach at any given time ranges from about 0.66 to 3.38 fluid ounces (20 to 100 mL). If the stomach produces more acid than normal, it can lead to ulcers, which are painful sores on the stomach lining. As people age, their stomachs might produce inadequate amounts of acid, which can cause digestive difficulties.
More about stomach acid:
- Acid in the stomach is estimated to contain more than one million times the amount of acid of pure water and generally has a potenz hydrogen (pH) value ranging from 1.5 to 3.5, or roughly equivalent to that of citrus juice.
- It takes mere seconds for food to reach the stomach when swallowed, but it takes the stomach an average of about four hours to fully digest it.
- The consumption of caffeine, sugar or alcohol can cause twice as much stomach acid to be produced, it is believed.