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How do highly acidic foods affect digestion?

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Quick Answer

Consuming highly acidic foods reduces the digestion capacity of the human digestive system. This occurs as the net result of acid accumulation in the body that typically gives rise to a condition termed as heartburn or acid reflux, states Global Healing Center.

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How do highly acidic foods affect digestion?
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Full Answer

As a result of excessive acidic food intake, the acid-alkaline balance of the digestive system gets disturbed, and many bacteria residing in the intestines that aid digestion are killed. The intestinal walls also get inflamed, which retards peristalsis. Owing to slow peristalsis, food remains undigested and undergoes putrefaction, which ultimately leads to even greater acid accumulation, states BoxingScene.

Excess acid accumulation has other effects on the digestive system. When there is too much acid in the stomach, it retards digestion and goes back up into the esophagus. This leads to a burning sensation in the stomach and chest regions, a common symptom of acid reflux or heart burn. The burning sensation occurs because the esophagus, unlike the stomach, does not have a protective lining. If left untreated, it can lead to ulcers and increase the risk of esophagal cancer, reports BoxingScene.

Excessive consumption of acidic foods also affects the liver and gallbladder. The liver is burdened with too much acidic waste, whereas the gallbladder is unable to release bile that further retards peristalsis and digestion and increases acid accumulation in the body, says BoxingScene.

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