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Stomach Acid

Health & Wellness  (tags: stomach acid, proteolytic enzymes, stomach aids, SideEffects, AlternativeMed, drugs )

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in this newsletter, we'll cover all aspects:Stomach acid and digestion,Too much stomach acid ,Too little stomach acid ,Stomach acid and proteolytic enzymes Stomach acid and probiotics

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Cheryl B (375)
Monday March 12, 2007, 5:53 am
Something must be going on with stomach acid. We've received over 50 emails in the last 30 days on stomach acid. Yes, we get 10,000 emails a month, but getting 50 on one topic is highly unusual. The questions on stomach acid were of all kinds mind you, but surprisingly, not one on what I would consider the most important issue: low stomach acid.

Anyway, in this newsletter, we'll cover all aspects:

Stomach acid and digestion
Too much stomach acid
Too little stomach acid
Stomach acid and proteolytic enzymes
Stomach acid and probiotics
Stomach acid and digestion
Before we can even talk about stomach acid, we need to spend a little time talking about how it fits in the digestive process. Most people believe that when you eat a meal it drops into a pool of stomach acid, where it's broken down, then goes into the small intestine to have nutrients taken out, and then into the colon to be passed out of the body -- if you're lucky. Not quite.

What nature intended is that you eat enzyme rich foods and chew your food properly. If you did that, the food would enter the stomach laced with digestive enzymes. These enzymes would then "predigest" your food for about an hour -- actually breaking down as much as 75% of your meal.

Only after this period of "pre-digestion" are hydrochloric acid and pepsin introduced. The acid inactivates all of the food-based enzymes, but begins its own function of breaking down what is left of the meal in combination with the acid energized enzyme pepsin. Eventually, this nutrient-rich food concentrate moves on into the small intestine. Once this concentrate enters the small intestine, the acid is neutralized and the pancreas reintroduces digestive enzymes to the process. As digestion is completed, nutrients are passed through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.

That's what nature intended. Unfortunately, most of us don't live our lives as nature intended!

Processing and cooking destroy enzymes in food. (Any sustained heat of approximately 1180 - 1290 F destroys virtually all enzymes.) This means that, for most of us, the food entering our stomach is severely enzyme deficient. The food then sits there for an hour, like a heavy lump, with very little pre-digestion taking place. This forces the body to produce large amounts of stomach acid in an attempt to overcompensate. In addition to failing in this attempt (much of the meal still enters the small intestine largely undigested), there are two major consequences.

Too much stomach acid.
Too little stomach acid.
Too much stomach acid
This is obvious. In an attempt to overcompensate for lack of enzymes in the food, the stomach produces an inordinate amount of stomach acid to compensate, leading to acid indigestion. Taking antacids or purple pills doesn't actually solve the problem; it merely eliminates one of the symptoms. Ultimately, though, it passes even more quantities of poorly digested food into the intestinal tract where it leads to gas, bloating, bad digestion, chronic digestive disorders, in addition to blowing out your pancreas, which tries to compensate by producing huge amounts of digestive enzymes for use in the small intestine. All of this is exacerbated by foods and beverages such as alcohol (especially beer), high sugar foods, and caffeinated foods (coffee and tea, etc.) that can actually double acid production.

The simple solution for most people with excess stomach acid is to supplement with digestive enzymes which can digest up to 70% of the meal in the pre-acid phase, thus eliminating the need for large amounts of stomach acid and also taking tremendous stress off the digestive system and the pancreas.

One other factor which may be contributing to the problem is a hiatal hernia, in which part of the stomach can protrude through the diaphragm into the chest cavity allowing food and stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. Combine a hiatal hernia with excess stomach acid and you have the potential for great distress. The standard treatment for severe hiatal hernias is laparoscopic surgery -- with mixed results. Fortunately, there are chiropractic alternatives that can be quite effective.

In either case, dietary changes and supplemental digestive enzymes are likely to produce significant results, without creating problems further down the digestive tract.

Drinking 2-4 ounces of organic, stabilized, aloe vera juice every day can also help soothe irritated tissue in the esophagus and help balance out digestive juices in the stomach.

Too little stomach acid
Follow the logic here for just a moment.

If you spend years forcing your body to massively overproduce stomach acid to compensate for the lack of enzymes in your diet, what do you think the long-term consequences might be in terms of your ability to produce stomach acid?


Eventually, your body's capacity to produce stomach acid begins to fade, with a concomitant loss in your body's ability to sufficiently process food in the stomach. The health consequences can be profound. Low production of stomach acid is quite common and becomes more prevalent with age. By age forty, 40% of the population is affected, and by age sixty, 50%. A person over age 40 who visits a doctor's office has about a 90% probability of having low stomach acid. Consequences can include:

Poor digestion. Not only is there insufficient stomach acid to break down food, there is insufficient acidity to optimize the digestive enzyme pepsin, which requires a pH of around 2.0. This results in partial digestion of food, leading to gas, bloating, belching, diarrhea/constipation, autoimmune disorders, skin diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and a host of intestinal disorders such as Crohn's and IBS.
It is estimated that 80% of people with food allergies suffer from some degree of low acid production in the stomach.
Many vitamins and minerals require proper stomach acid in order to be properly absorbed, including: calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. Vitamin B12 in particular requires sufficient stomach acid for proper utilization. Without that acid, severe B12 deficiency can result. (Note: ionic delivery systems can bypass this problem.)
With low acidity and the presence of undigested food, harmful bacteria are more likely to colonize the stomach and interfere with digestion. Normal levels of stomach acid help to keep the digestive system free of harmful bacteria and parasites.
It's worth noting that symptoms of low acidity include:

Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals.
Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation.
Is it just me, or doesn't this list sound very similar to the symptoms associated with too much stomach acid? In fact, up to 95% of people who think they are suffering from too much stomach acid are actually suffering from the exact opposite condition. The use of antacids and purple pills then become exactly the wrong treatment to use since they exacerbate the underlying condition while temporarily masking the symptoms.

Supplementing with digestive enzymes to reduce the need for stomach acid -- giving the body a chance to rest and recover its ability to produce sufficient stomach acid.
Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with water and a little honey and drink this with each meal. You may gradually increase the vinegar up to 3-4 tablespoons in water if needed.
Supplementing with betaine hydrochloride (HCL) tablets can also help, but anything beyond minimal doses as found in most health food store supplements should only be administered under the supervision of a health practitioner to avoid damage to the stomach lining.
Stomach acid and proteolytic enzymes
As I mentioned at the top of the newsletter, we received a number of questions on stomach acid in the last 30 days. Most of them had nothing to do with high or low stomach acid, but rather with the effect of stomach acid on supplements. In fact, the bulk of the questions we received were concerned with how stomach acid affects proteolytic enzymes, and they all pretty much ran along the following lines.

Since enzymes are made from proteins and proteolytic enzyme formulas are taken orally:

How do they survive the digestion of proteins that takes place in the stomach? Wouldn't they be broken down by stomach acid into amino acids?
If they do make it through the stomach, since they are so large, wouldn't they be unable to pass through the intestinal wall?
Surviving the stomach
Not all proteins (enzymes are proteins) are broken down by stomach acid. Rather than get technical, let me just point out pepsin. Pepsin is an enzyme secreted by the stomach to aid in digesting the proteins in your food. Not only is it NOT broken down by stomach acid, its optimum pH environment is about 2.0 (very, very acidic). Bottom line:

Although some enzymes such as serapeptase are destroyed by stomach acid, most are not -- just temporarily rendered inactive. (Note: that's one of the reasons I do not use serapeptase in my own proteolytic enzyme formulation.)
Different enzymes function differently in different pH environments, which is why I formulated my proteolytic enzyme formula, pHi-Zymes, to function in a wide range of pH's.
Passing through the intestinal wall - absorption
Enzyme absorption absolutely occurs and manifests through two main avenues:

Pinocytosis. Enzyme molecules are bound to, and encapsulated, by other substances such as water. Since they are encapsulated, the intestinal wall cannot recognize them as enzymes and thinks they are "water," thus readily passing them through the intestinal wall. Once the enzymes are in the bloodstream they attach to lymphocytes and travel easily throughout the vascular and lymphatic systems.

Peristalsis not only forces food (and enzymes) down through the intestinal tract, it also forces transit through the intestinal wall.

Stomach acid and probiotics
The questions related to probiotics are essentially the same as those for proteolytic enzymes: aren't they broken down and destroyed by stomach acid -- thus requiring special, acid-proof capsules? And the answer, for most probiotics, is absolutely not. (I think this is primarily a marketing pitch for companies selling probiotics in enteric coated capsules, but the logic is flawed.)

The reason we're supposed to take probiotic supplements is to replace the probiotics that we used to get in a wide range of unprocessed fermented foods such as homemade yogurt, sauerkraut, buttermilk, pickled foods, kimchi, real soy sauce, raw vinegar, tempeh, etc. -- foods that are no longer a significant part of our diet. But think about this for a moment. These foods are not enteric coated. How could these foods provide probiotic value if the beneficial bacteria were destroyed by stomach acid? The simple truth is that beneficial bacteria, for the most part, easily survive stomach acid. Also, if you take your probiotic supplements with water on an empty stomach (as we've already discussed), they encounter almost no stomach acid anyway.

The bottom line here is that most people are very confused about the role stomach acid plays in health. Most people:

Think they have too much, when in fact they have too little.
Treat the symptom and suppress stomach acid production, ultimately leading to long-term health problems.
Ultimately lose the capacity to produce sufficient stomach acid as a result of dietary abuse and continual use of medications to suppress the body's ability to produce it.
Don't get into that trap.

Use digestive enzymes with all your meals.
Drink aloe vera juice.
Use probiotic supplements with confidence.
Use proteolytic enzyme supplements with confidence.
And, if needed, use apple cider vinegar or betaine hydrochloride supplements to make up for stomach acid insufficiency.

Cheryl B (375)
Monday March 12, 2007, 5:54 am
How are acid reflux symptoms treated?
March 9th, 2007 by acidreflux
If you have had heartburn or any of the other symptoms for a while, you should see your doctor. You may want to visit an internist, a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, or a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the stomach and intestines. Depending on how severe your GERD is, treatment may involve one or more of the following lifestyle changes and medications or surgery.

Lifestyle Changes
If you smoke, stop.
Do not drink alcohol.
Lose weight if needed.
Eat small meals.
Wear loose-fitting clothes.
Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal.
Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches by putting blocks of wood under the bedposts–just using extra pillows will not help.
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March 8th, 2007 by acidreflux
After suffering from severe acid reflux for more than 17 years, trying almost every conventional acid reflux drug and treatment, Jeff Martin, a 42 year old research expert, health consultant and nutritionist from California, began an extensive 11-year research to find an alternative cure for acid reflux and create the ultimate holistic system for curing acid reflux and achieving lasting freedom from heartburn and digestive disorders.

“Acid reflux sufferers are getting tired of being exploited”, Says Martin “There are too many marketers and charlatans out to make a fast buck on the expense of the vulnerable. Acid reflux sufferers simply cannot afford to spend their hard earned money on pricey heartburn cures and quick fixes only to be disappointed time and time again.”

Through his research, Martin realized that there is an abundance of heartburn cures that focus merely on the symptoms of acid reflux, but very few if any that focus on permanently fixing the root cause.

“The sad truth”, adds Martin, “is that even the so called natural approaches to the treatment of acid reflux that are aimed to cure acid reflux from within, are either unrealistic, impractical or are often the same one- dimensional gimmick cures disguised as holistic solutions.”

According to Martin, in order to permanently cure acid reflux one must approach the disease from a holistic multi-dimensional perspective as oppose to tackling only a single factor that leads to heartburn formation. Furthermore, the program must be practical and logical to use.

“There is simply no other way, but the holistic way”, says Martin, “The Heartburn No More™ program was born out of these necessities.”

The Heartburn No More™ is a unique step-by-step holistic acid reflux treatment, consisting of several sub-plans each designed to tackle a different factor responsible for acid reflux. The main idea is using both the powers of the body and the mind to help the body heal itself from the inside out and prevent the recurrence of GERD.

In a down-to-earth, often very personal and moving style, Martin
guides you through the entire process of getting rid of your acid reflux holistically, and achieving heartburn freedom, without the costs and side effects of conventional medications and antacids.

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Reflux Disease (GERD) Overview
March 7th, 2007 by acidreflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the esophagus becomes irritated or inflamed because of acid backing up from the stomach. The esophagus or food pipe is the tube stretching from the throat to the stomach. When food is swallowed, it travels down the esophagus.

The stomach produces hydrochloric acid after a meal to aid in the digestion of food.

The inner lining of the stomach resists corrosion by this acid. The cells that line the stomach secrete large amounts of protective mucus.
The lining of the esophagus does not share these resistant features and stomach acid can damage it.
The esophagus lies just behind the heart, so the term heartburn was coined to describe the sensation of acid burning the esophagus (see Media file 1).
Normally, a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter, prevents reflux (or backing up) of acid.

This sphincter relaxes during swallowing to allow food to pass. It then tightens to prevent flow in the opposite direction.
With GERD, however, the sphincter relaxes between swallows, allowing stomach contents and corrosive acid to well up and damage the lining of the esophagus.
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What To Find Good Acid Reflux Information
March 6th, 2007 by acidreflux
Similar to any other diseases, those experiencing acid reflux should first consult a physician. There is no replacement for specialized medical opinion. Physicians can be a precious source of acid reflux information. They can advise you on the appropriate treatments rather than merely giving information regarding acid reflux itself. In addition, some serious sufferers may need doctor’s prescription medications to totally improve their conditions. There are also plenty of Acid reflux information on the Internet. If you do a simple Google search for acid reflux, you will find over 3 million websites that you can slowly surf when you are free. Different kinds of websites will appeal to different people. Website like offers purely technical acid reflux information, explaining the possible causes of acid reflux. Other websites have message boards where people who have acid reflux can interact directly with one another. However, it should be noted that all the acid reflux information on the Internet should be referenced with caution. For example, many sufferers have faith in a few home remedies that have not been technically proven to be effective. An example would be the use of apple cider vinegar to relief acid reflux. Some people claim it is their miracle cure, while others have reported that the recipe has made their symptoms worse. Ultimately no amount of subjective experiences can substitute for personal experience and professional medical advice given by an experienced physician.

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acid reflux
March 4th, 2007 by acidreflux
· When you eat or drink something, the food or liquid reaches your stomach by passing from your throat, behind your voice box, and then through a muscular tube called the esophagus to arrive in your stomach.· Once the food reaches your stomach, your stomach puts out acid and pepsin (a digestive enzyme) to digest the food. · Your esophagus has two sphincters (bands of muscle fibers that close off the tube) to help keep the digested food, acid, and pepsin where they belong. · The first sphincter is at the top of the esophagus at its junction with the upper throat just behind the larynx.· The second sphincter is at the bottom of the esophagus at its junction with the stomach. Normally this remains closed until the bolus of food and/or liquid reaches it. However, in many individuals including children, the muscle tone is poor. The sphincter remains open, allowing stomach contents to “reflux” up the esophagus and into the throat.

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Acid Reflux linked to cancer
March 2nd, 2007 by acidreflux
Studies exist that link acid-reflux conditions to cancer of the larynx — or voice box — but authors of a new study say they all suffer shortcomings in methodology.

The new study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, was intended to make up for these shortcomings by comparing 96 men and women with laryngeal cancer to a group of adults without the disease. All participants were matched by age, gender, and ethnicity — three of the most important risk factors for this cancer. Overall, the study found people with GERD — gastroesophageal reflux disease — were twice as likely to develop laryngeal cancer, compared to those without the condition. GERD has long been considered a possible risk factor for this cancer, mostly because GERD is common among people with the cancer. More definitive studies are on the horizon.

GERD, which occurs when the muscle of the bottom of the esophagus fails to close properly, allowing stomach acids to leak into the esophagus, is also linked to esophageal cancer.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Great Overview
February 28th, 2007 by acidreflux
What is gastroesophageal reflux disease?

GERD is the condition that causes the burning sensation of heartburn. It occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly and stomach contents leak back into the esophagus. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, and this is called acid indigestion.

What causes GERD?

No one knows exactly why people get GERD. However, there is speculation that it is caused by a hiatal hernia, which means that the upper part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm. This may weaken the muscles in the area of the lower esophageal sphincter, which makes it easier for the acid to come up. However, some foods and behaviors can also cause burning and/or affect the lower esophageal sphincter. For instance, eating a large meal or fatty foods can delay emptying of the stomach, which increases the risk of reflux, says Peura.

Is it possible to have GERD without heartburn?

The primary symptoms are continual heartburn and “acid regurgitation”; however, you can have GERD without heartburn. Some people have pain in the chest, hoarseness in the morning, a cough, or trouble swallowing, adds Jaffe.

Medications sometimes contribute to GERD.

According to Jaffe, the following medications my cause an increase of GERD:

asthma medications such asTheo-Dur
calcium channel blockers such as Procardia and Cardizem
heart medicines for example, Isordil and Ismo
certain antidepressants in high doses such as, Elavil and trazodone.
In addition, certain medications may injure the esophagus and potentially contribute to esophagitis inflammation in people who have GERD or may mimic GERD in those without an acid reflux problem. These include arthritis drugs e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, Orudis, Motrin, Relafen, Indocin, antibiotics e.g., tetracycline, doxycycline, osteoporosis drugs e.g., Fosomax, potassium-replacement pills and high doses of vitamin C.

Do spicy foods cause heartburn and/or GERD?

Spicy foods can further irritate an esophagus that has already been damaged by acid reflux, and irritation of the lining of the esophagus is what causes the symptoms of heartburn. Most spices don’t contribute to acid reflux directly, but spices are often added to fatty foods, which can cause reflux by weakening the muscle at the end of the esophagus. Fatty foods also delay emptying of the stomach, and this, too, can promote acid reflux. The combination of fat and spices can be a double whammy for the esophagus in patients with GERD, says Stuart Spechler, M.D., chief, Division of Gastroenterology, Dallas VA Medical Center and professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

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Beer and Wine
February 27th, 2007 by acidreflux
Don’t think that beverages just quickly flow through your stomach without affecting acid production. Surprisingly, a lot of beverages stimulate acid secretion such as beer, wine and pop. The worst of all is beer. It could double your stomach acid within an hour.

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Acid Reflux Diet
February 26th, 2007 by acidreflux
First of all, try to eat small, frequent meals instead of three big meals a day. Small amounts of food each time would exert less workload on the stomach and therefore requires less acid secretion for digestion. Make sure to include foods that are high in complex carbohydrates in each meal. These foods, such as rice, breads and pasta, are able to tie up excess stomach acid and are often easy on the stomach.
Avoid high-fat meals such as those from the fast food chains. High fat foods will remain in the stomach longer, thus causing the need for more stomach acid in order to digest them.
But remember, don’t overeat! Eating too much of any foods will stimulate the stomach to secret more acids for digestion.
Avoid or limit alcohol
Maintain upright position during and at least 45 minutes after eating
Try elevating the head of bed six to eight inches when lying down.
Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Do greasy foods make reflux worse?
February 23rd, 2007 by acidreflux
Dear Dr. Gott: What are the symptoms of acid reflux? What foods should be avoided? Will greasy foods make it worse? Are there any over-the-counter drugs that will help it?

Dear Reader: Acid reflux is a common disorder marked by periodic heartburn, indigestion, excess gas, coughing and other symptoms. Reflux occurs when digestive juices make their way “upstream” and burn the delicate and unprotected esophageal lining.

Immediate treatment with antacids is usually effective. Reflux also can be treated and prevented with medicines (such as Pepcid AC, Prilosec and prescription drugs) that reduce the formation of excess gastric acid. The condition can, in some cases, be related to spicy and rich foods. However, it is more commonly exacerbated by fatty, fried or greasy foods and alcohol. Some people may have symptoms following consumption of dairy products.

Acid reflux is annoying but is not a serious health concern – except in one situation. Repeated chronic esophageal irritation may lead to precancerous cellular changes called Barrett’s esophagus. If appropriate studies confirm this, such patients need to be treated aggressively and have regular follow-ups.

I also recommend that you exercise and lose some weight, if you are overweight. Tight-fitting clothing around your abdomen can also make symptoms worse, as well as lying flat on your back or bending over at greater than a 90-degree angle. If you have this condition, you should also be tested for peptic ulcers.



Cheryl B (375)
Monday March 12, 2007, 1:13 pm
there are 2 articlles underneath to help u if u or ur's suffer from this GERDS, etc, the first is more NATURAL., but both most enliightening still learning myself, didn;t realize some of them were actually acid not akaline

Jessie D (42)
Sunday April 4, 2010, 12:10 am
Thanks. I finally talked seriously to my doctor about my acid reflux because it's getting worse. Had it since I was born. I am going to get tested for ulcer next week, and my doc said it's important to treat because untreated, acid reflux really CAN cause cancer, or if it's not treated correctly. booooooo. oh well. someone always has it worse than we do.

divergent revolution (309)
Thursday March 24, 2011, 2:49 pm
i have severe stomach problems, and dental problems.
trying to avoid antiiotics,they make me won't let me get
away with not taking them. took amoxicillin 500mg. twice yesterday, and was
up all night with diarhea, and heartburn...HELP.don't know what to do,they'll change the type of antibiotic , but insist i need to take it.
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