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Improving stomach acid production enhances digestion and overall health

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(NaturalNews) Our digestive tract is one of the key interfaces between the external environment and our blood stream. When the digestive tract is irritated and damaged it produces rampant inflammation and stress throughout the entire body. Supplementing to improve stomach acid production can dramatically improve digestion and overall health.

Poor digestion is more the rule than the exception in our society. Our culture doesn't prioritize the time and energy our digestive system to needs to optimally process the food we consume. We often eat multiple meals a day including very large meals with foods that do not digest well together. We eat on the go, deal with stressful activities while eating or shortly after and consume toxic irritants on a regular basis.

Good digestion begins in the stomach:

Hydrochloric acid is necessary for creating an acidic environment in the stomach to digest protein and ionize minerals. This also helps to stimulate bile release from the gallbladder to effectively metabolize fat in the small intestine. Without these key functions working optimally we become at risk for anemia, thyroid problems, osteoporosis and auto-immunity.(1,2,3)

Low stomach acid in a very common problem especially in older individuals or those who have suffered from various infections like H. Pylori, been on antibiotics and other medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.(4,5,6). Low stomach acid sets the stage for damage to the delicate lining of the digestive tract and the formation of leaky gut syndrome.

Symptoms associated with low stomach acid

Flatulence (gas)
Chronic fatigue
Adrenal fatigue
Dry skin/Dandruff
Rectal itching
Hair loss in women
Iron/B12 Deficiency
Multiple food allergies and/or sensitivities
Week, peeling & cracked Fingernails

Possible causes of low stomach acid

Poor diet
Mineral deficiencies
Excess sugar and carbs
Processed foods
B vitamin deficiency
Chronic infections
Advanced age
Anti-acid usage
Heartburn medications
NSAID (Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen) Usage
Birth control pills
Chronic stress
Other digestive problems
Anti-biotic usage

Importance of healthy stomach acid

When you have low stomach acid you are unable to effectively break down protein in the stomach. This allows very large proteins to get into the small intestine and creates major stress on the pancreas to produce enough enzymes to metabolize the proteins.

This ultimately wears out the pancreatic enzyme stores and creates stress and irritation throughout the gut. It also leads to insufficient absorption and utilization of key amino acids that make up the protein molecules.

Large proteins and incomplete digestion can cause leaky gut syndrome and trigger auto-immune activity in different regions of the body. Improper protein digestion also leads to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, fuels Candida and other parasites. It also creates an acidic blood stream and depletes minerals throughout the body. Mineral depletion leads to the inability to form stomach acid and the vicious cycle continues.

Supplementing with betaine HCL

To improve stomach acid production and protein digestion it is best to supplement with betaine HCL and the proteolytic enzyme pepsin. Pepsin is naturally produced in the stomach when there is enough stomach acid. Individuals with low stomach acid will not be able to produce the active form of this vital protein-digesting enzyme.

People with low stomach acid have irritated stomach and intestinal linings. Herbal bitters and carminatives help to support the stomach acid production process but also provide key nutrients to support the healing process of the entire digestive system. Herbal bitters include orange peel, ginger root, gentian root, peppermint leaf, goldenseal root, hops flower, cardamom seed, fennel seed, Oregon grape root, blessed thistle herb, cayenne pepper, burdock root and dandelion root.

Sources for this article include:

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2543192

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22254022

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16969140

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1590257

(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1494326

(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1494327

(7) http://bodyecology.com

About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com

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