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How does the acidic environment in the stomach affect carbohydrate and fast digestion? Does it aid, impede or remain neutral in their digestive process.

Or do the carbs and fats leave the stomach (and proteins) once the churning is over straight to small intestine?

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  • $\begingroup$ As Will below mentioned stomach acid mostly exists to kill ingested bacteria not break down the food. $\endgroup$ – John May 14 '17 at 6:06
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As for the digestion of fats there are two digestive enzymes active in the stomach:

  • Lingual lipase (produced with saliva)
  • Gastric lipase (produced in the stomach chief cells)

Both have activity optima in the acidic pH range.

On the other hand, the salivary amylase that breaks down starch seems to be inactivated by the acidic environment.

Sources:

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People who have no stomach acid because of medicine or surgery still digest their foods. Otherwise you would predict incomplete digestion / weight loss / diarrhea would be a consequent of stomach acid suppression.

Acid is there to kill germs. That probably used to be a lot more important than it is now but it is still important. Acid suppression is associated with an slight increased pneumonia risk and possibly increased risk of enteric infection. These studies are all done in the first world.

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