A popular notion is that lowering acid in the stomach is the right way to deal with acid reflux. On the contrary, improving levels of stomach acid and quality can be beneficial for health. To establish how good stomach acid actually is for us, we emphasize on two of its key functions below.
The parietal cells of the stomach, when functioning normally, produce hydrochloric acid (HCL) to bring the stomach pH within the levels of 1.5-3.0, thereby creating a conducive (acidic) environment for digestion. Stomach acid is crucial to the process of breaking down of proteins from the food we intake. In addition to activating the enzyme pepsin (used in digestion of protein,) stomach acid also stimulates the release of other enzymes and bile, which support the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and various minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Additionally, stomach acid inhibits the growth of microorganisms that enter the body through food, thereby preventing occurrence of any infection. Pathogenic bacteria and yeast normally present in food are killed by stomach acid. Also, stomach acid maintains optimal pH levels, which are necessary for triggering the release of sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the chyme (partly digested food). Subsequently, this prevents the chyme from burning the small intestine and causing ulcers.
To conclude, stomach acid plays a useful role in the functioning of the body, and excess of it does not cause acid reflux. To know more about the causes of acid reflux, check out this article.