Hydrochloric acid is used by the stomach to break down fibre and plant roughage. Over a lifetime of eating animal foods, demineralised foods and a few token vegetables- coupled with emotional stress, the body’s natural levels of HCL starts to diminish, your gut loses its ability to produce adequate HCL.
When beginning a detoxification program, often this requires that most people need to increase their vegetable content, so it is important to build up hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Heavy animal proteins we ingest are broken down by proteases in the small intestine, HCL simply starts the digestion process of proteins until protein gets into the small intestine. HCL is primarily used to tear apart plant fibre and roughage as mentioned above.
What causes our HCL to reduce as we get older
A lack of natural salts in the diet – yes, sea and Himalayan salt is an excellent and very much valued & necessary part of our daily diet
A lack of vegetables in the diet
Eating high quantities of complex carbohydrates & sugars.
Carbohydrates and sugars will flush mineral salts from the body, eventually this causes the body to become deficient in chloride and, subsequently, in HCL. Just another reason in the endless list of reasons why grains are the bain of most people’s nutritional existence! Even eating only fruit for several months can have this flushing effect. Fruit is full of fructose anyway- a diet high in fruit is not a great choice in the prevention of fatty liver or if you simply want to stay slim
HCL is one of the body’s first lines of defence – it destroys parasites, mould, harmful bacteria and viruses. HCL activates pepsin-the chief digestive enzyme in the stomach, which breaks down proteins, encourages the flow of bile and pancreatic enzymes; and facilitates absorption of nutrients, including folic acid, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, plant-based iron, and some forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Because HCL is incapable of destroying proteins, enzymes such as pepsin are unaffected by the presence of HCL in the stomach.
When HCL production is low, it affects the metabolism and causes incomplete digestion of food. This then leads on to malabsorption of the nutrients you are eating, lethargy and quite often reflux. The symptoms of reflux are wrongly diagnosed far to frequently as an excess in HCL rather than a deficiency, with a Dr then prescribing proton pump inhibitors- which reduces even further, what little HCL you have in the first place- only exacerbating the issue. Many people are on these proton pump inhibitors much longer than the recommended 6 months. Treating a clients presenting symptoms as a Dr most often does, is exactly the opposite to what a Nutritionist will recommend. A Nutritionist or Naturopath with recognise your symptoms as a lack of HCL and do anything to keep you off pharmaceutical drugs.
Common symptoms associated with low hydrochloric acid effect a large portion of the population.
- Adrenal exhaustion
- Brittle nails
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Dry skin
- Gall stone
- Gastro intestinal infections- for example ulcers
- Inability to digest vegetables
- Mineral deficiency’s
- Protruding belly
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Vitiligo – loss of skin pigmentation
How to build more Hydrochloric Acid
The body builds HCL out of salts. Natural salts found in salty vegetables restore HCL. Heavy salts, such as table salt, may be usable when one is young, but as vital energy decreases with age, they become difficult for the body to use to create HCL. Acidic foods can also help stimulate HCL production. Using Apple Cider Vinegar or lemon juice on salads, or in a quick shot every day will increase your HCL production. A shot of Ginger juice works also. Eating oranges or other citrus before, during or after a salad may be helpful for some people. A good herbalist may give you gentian or wormwood and there are also spices to increase HCL such a pepper or cayenne. Beta Hydrochloride
is an excellent supplement for increasing acids in the stomach to help break down food. Juices to Build Hydrochloric Acid
- Celery Juice
- Spinach Juice
- Chard Juice
- Kale Juice
- Lemon Juice (before or with a salad)
- Raw apple cider vinegar (before or with a salad)
- Ginger juice
- Any vegetable juices that are rich in mineral salts (salty to the taste_
- Olives (not green)
- Celtic sea salt
- Grass powders
Dr Sandra Cabot has a bestselling book titled “Raw Juices Can Save Your Life” this
book has a whole chapter dedicated to digestive juices. www.cabothealth.com.au