Chemical of the Day: Secretin!

Meet another past “Chemical of the Day” featured on our Facebook page! Today’s chemical of the day is secretin! Secretin is a large hormone with a big job. This 27 amino acid (aka proteins!) chain is like a fireman in your tummy because it is responsible for protecting the sensitive parts of your digestive system from acid burns! When stomach acid enters the small intestine, secretin stimulates the release of water and bicarbonate (the active ingredient in baking soda!) into the small intestine and gut. The bicarbonate in the water is basic and neutralizes the stomach acid, ultimately preventing pain! Secretin is also special because it is the FIRST hormone that was ever identified back in 1902, although the term “hormone” wasn’t coined for another 3 years! More than 100 years later and secretin is still not completely understood! Can you guess why it was named “secretin”?

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