Mineral Absorption in the Monogastric GI Tract

Volume 249 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 173-184

Low Gastric Hydrochloric Acid Secretion and Mineral Bioavailability

  • Elaine T. Champagne

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Low secretion of hydrochloric acid by gastric parietal cells occurs in young infants (Mason, 1962; Rodbro et al., 1967a,b; Agunod et al., 1969;) and in approximately 30% of the elderly (Villako et al., 1976). In the infant, low acid secretion is due to immaturity of the gastric parietal cells (Agunod et al., 1969). The reduced acid secretion in older people is a result of both a loss in parietal cells as well as a decrease in the secretory capacity of existing cells (Meyers & Necheles, 1940; Fikry, 1965). The incidence and severity of the condition increases with advancing age (Bhanthumnavin & Shuster, 1977). The severity can range from mild atrophic gastritis with hypochlorhydria to total gastric atrophy with achlorhy-dria. Table I allows a comparison of average acid outputs following histamine stimulation in infants, children, and normal adults.