The stomach is a remarkable organ. It is a baglike structure that serves as a temporary holding tank for food. The average adult stomach can hold about one and one-half quarts of food for three to four hours. During this time, the food is bathed with gastric juices which flow from three types of glands in the wall of the stomach. Amazingly, the stomach digests foods made of materials much tougher than itself. Scientists found we would have to boil much of our food in strong acids at 212 degrees F to do what our stomach and intestines do at the normal body temperature of 98.6 F.

One of the most amazing things about the stomach is that it does not digest itself. Some of our stomach acids are strong enough to dissolve metal, yet they do not harm our stomach. The primary mechanism which keeps us from dissolving our own stomach is a thin gastric lining which continuously oozes a mucous coating. This coating forms a barrier between the acid and stomach wall. The mucous, somewhat alkaline, neutralizes the acid at the stomach wall and helps keep the stomach from digesting itself. The lining of the stomach sheds one-half million cells every minute and replaces them so quickly that we have what amounts to a new lining every three days. The stomach truly shows evidence of design.

From A Closer Look at the Evidence by Kleiss, May 13.

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