Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) is produced by the stomach and has the job of breaking down proteins. If you make plenty of HCl, then the body can adequately digest protein. If not, protein digestion is compromised.
How is hydrochloric acid made in the stomach?
The main constituent of gastric acid is hydrochloric acid which is produced by parietal cells (also called oxyntic cells) in the gastric glands in the stomach. Parietal cells contain an extensive secretory network (called canaliculi) from which the hydrochloric acid is secreted into the lumen of the stomach.
What secretes hydrochloric acid?
The gastric chief cells of the stomach secrete enzymes for protein breakdown (inactive pepsinogen, and in infancy rennin). Hydrochloric acid activates pepsinogen into the enzyme pepsin, which then helps digestion by breaking the bonds linking amino acids, a process known as proteolysis.