Low gastric hydrochloric acid secretion and mineral bioavailability

Adv Exp Med Biol. 1989:249:173-84. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4684-9111-1_12.


Young infants and approximately 30% of the elderly have low secretion of hydrochloric acid by gastric parietal cells. It has been established that low hydrochloric acid secretion can lead to decreased absorption of ferric iron. Conflicting results have been obtained in clinical studies of the effects of intraluminal gastric pH values on calcium absorption. The results of an in vitro study suggest that the chemical form of the ingested calcium and the presence of protein may influence whether high intraluminal gastric pH values affect resultant calcium solubilities in the small intestine. The effects of low hydrochloric acid secretion on zinc absorption have not been ascertained. The results of an in vitro study indicate that high intraluminal gastric pH values would not affect resultant zinc solubilities in the small intestine following pancreatin digestion of soy protein isolate supplemented with calcium and/or zinc. Considering that the diets of many elderly contain primarily plant foods and that soy protein isolate formulas are commonly fed to infants, further research is especially needed to determine the effects of low hydrochloric acid secretion on mineral bioavailabilities from high fiber and phytate containing plant foods.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Achlorhydria / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Biological Availability
  • Calcium, Dietary / pharmacokinetics
  • Dietary Fiber / metabolism
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Gastric Acid / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Iron / pharmacokinetics
  • Minerals / pharmacokinetics*
  • Solubility
  • Zinc / pharmacokinetics


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Minerals
  • Iron
  • Zinc