Functions of the Stomach in the Digestive System

 Functions of the Stomach in the Digestive System

Digestion of food is a very complex process. On the way, food passes through the different digestive organs.

Each organ has special functions. Different chemical changes occur in food in the digestive organs that digest the food at different levels.

In this article, we will learn the functions of the stomach in the digestive system.

In other articles, we have already discussed the functions of the liver in our body and the functions of the pancreas in the digestive system.You can also read them for more clarity.

The stomach has a j-shaped bag like structure.It is found in the upper abdomen on the left side of your body.

Its size is variable and changes according to the quantity of food in it.

Let’s take a look at the functions of the stomach.

What are the Functions of the Stomach in the Digestive System? (Overview)

  • The stomach stores the food temporarily.
  • produces hydrochloric acid, which kills bacteria and helps to digest protein.
  • Produces gastric juices- rennin converts milk into curd and pepsin converts protein into peptones.
  • It mixes and break down food through its contract and relax movement.

Functions of the Stomach in the Digestive System (In detail)

Food passes through the food pipe to the stomach in a form called a bolus, where it is temporarily stored.

Food stays in the stomach for about 4 hours and undergoes chemical and physical changes.

The role of acid in our stomach

Stomach acid

Even before you take your first bite, the brain sends impulses to the stomach and the stomach starts producing acid.

The pH of this hydrochloric acid is nearly 2.

HCl makes the food’s medium acidic.
This HCl kills bacteria that enter our bodies through food. 

Hydrochloric acid also helps in the digestion of protein by breaking it into simpler forms.

Rennin enzyme produced in stomach

Rennin is an enzyme found in the stomach of young people and children.

As age progresses, the production of rennin decreases. And rennin production almost stops in older people.

Rennin is responsible for the curdling of the milk. The milk is taken by us curdled inside the stomach, then digestion will take place.

Rennin changes the soluble protein in milk into an insoluble protein. The insoluble protein is then digested by pepsin.

Pepsin enzyme produced in stomach

The stomach cells known as chief cells are responsible for the production of pepsin, an enzyme.

This enzyme digests the protein.

But keep in mind that the pepsin enzyme does not directly digest the protein, but HCl also contributes to this.

The pepsin enzyme works only in an acidic medium. HCl makes the food acidic and activates the pepsin enzyme.

The pepsin enzyme converts proteins into peptones, which are the simplest form of protein.

The stomach breaks down and mixes the food.

One of the functions of the stomach is that it breaks the food into fine pieces and mixes it well.

This process helps a lot in the digestion of food.

And as the surface area increases, enzymes are able to do their job better and the food gets absorbed well.

Last words

Hopefully, by now you will be clear about what the functions of the stomach are in our digestive system.

I hope you liked this article. Links to other articles related to the human body are given below. You can read them also.

Do not forget to give your opinion in the comments and also share this article. Thanks for reading!


Q1. What is the function of the mucus layer in the stomach?

A. A mucus layer protects your stomach walls from the attack of acid.

Q2. What causes acidity?

A. Generally, overeating causes acidity.

Q3. What is the pH of the stomach?

A. Less than 2.

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