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September 16, 1961

Why Does Not the Stomach Digest Itself?

Author Affiliations

Gainesville, Fla.

From the Department of Surgery of the University of Florida.

JAMA. 1961;177(11):758-762. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040370020004

The stomach normally does not digest itself because of a mechanism which regulates gastric secretion. This checks the secretion of gastric juice before the content becomes sufficiently corrosive to damage the mucosa. Pure gastric juice can destroy the mucosa and produce a peptic ulcer. An ulcer forms when gastric secretion is stimulated by agencies other than food and when its buffering effect is absent or inadequate.