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Pohl, D.; Fox, M.; Göke, B.; Prinz, C.; Moennikes, H.; Rogler, G.; Dauer, M.; Keller, J.; Lippl, F.; Schiefke, I.; Seidler, U.; Allescher, H. D. (2008): Do we need gastric acid? In: Digestion, No. 3-4: pp. 184-197


Evidence from comparative anatomy and physiology studies indicates that gastric acid secretion developed during the evolution of vertebrates approximately 350 million years ago. The cellular mechanisms that produce gastric acid have been conserved over the millennia and therefore proton pump inhibitors have pharmacological effects in almost all relevant species. These observations suggest that gastric acid provides an important selective advantage; however, in modern-day humans the need for gastric acid can be questioned in light of the widespread use of safe and effective pharmacologic acid suppression. The Kandahar Working Group addressed questions concerning the need, production and effects of gastric acid, specifically: (1) motility in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract; (2) neuroendocrine factors; (3) digestive and mucosal processes; (4) microbiology, and (5) central processes and psychological involvement. We addressed each topic with the individual models available to answer our questions including animal versus human studies, pharmacologic, surgical as well as pathophysiologic states of acid suppression. Copyright (C) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.