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Old 12-21-2002, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,073
Why doesn't my stomach digest itself?

If I eat a meal involving meat my stomach acid will dissolve the meat but surely my stomach itself is also meat. So how does my stomach know not to attack that meat?

If I was a cannibal and I ate someone else's stomach then my stomach acid would dissolve that meat just the same as any other animal meat. So what kind of acid is it that will dissolve every other meat in the world (even other peoples stomachs) but not the stomach meat that surrounds it? How can it be intelligent enough to know what to attack and what not to attack? Will there ever be world peace and can I have a pony if I promise to be very good?
Old 12-21-2002, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 3,362
It does digest itself. But it's also continually repairing itself.

No, you can't have a pony.
. - ГФ - .
Old 12-21-2002, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 194
It has a nice layer of mucus that is constantly being digested and replaced, if for what ever reason you stopped producing this mucus your in for a painful death.

A stomach ripped out of something else would soon stop producing this muscus, thus why one can eat a sheep's stomach fine.
Old 12-21-2002, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: CA
Posts: 511
Originally posted by Dravin
one can eat a sheep's stomach fine.
I think you meant DIGEST a sheep's stomach fine. As for getting it to the stomach...
Old 12-21-2002, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 194

Dares, bribes or booze should work well for acomplishing that. Just look at the show Fear Factor, tis an instance of a bribe doing wonders, though in this case it's the potential of receiving the bribe money instead of being assured it.
Old 12-21-2002, 02:07 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,073
ok thanks but what actual type of acid is it? Is there a type of disease where people lose their stomach acid? What happens to them? Can I at least have a worm as a pet if I'm not allowed a pony?
Old 12-21-2002, 02:19 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Middle of Puget Sound
Posts: 21,092
Your stomach produces hydrochloric acid, HCl. If your stomach mucus thins and the acid starts to eat away at the stomach it is called an ulcer. Yes, you can have a worm for a pet. Please go outside and dig one up now.
Old 12-21-2002, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 524
There are teeny tiny pumps that pump protons (H+) into the stomach where they join with Chloride ions (Cl-) that are also dumped into the stomach where they combine to make HCl (unless they react with food or something first). There are several disease states that reduce or eliminate the ability of the proton pumps to pump.

Interestingly, the best medicine for gastroesophageal reflux is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). The medicine binds to the pumps and makes them permanently inoperable (they get replaced frequently which is why you have to keep taking it). But what's interesting is that digestion is almost totally unaffected- and there's not been a demonstrable increase in infections (the two main teleologic explanations for the acid).

Old 12-21-2002, 04:12 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: USA, North Carolina, Cary
Posts: 2,459
Also, you're not allowed to get one of those magic worms that turns into a pony if you feed it after midnight.

I think I got that right...
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