- It is a cold, hard fact that the older we get the ~less~
stomach acid (HCL with pepsin) we produce. We know mother nature not only
works this way concerning gastric acid and digestive enzymes, but, so too,
with pretty much ~all~ biologically necessary substances. For example,
older people produce less glucosomine and SAMe, so arthritis develops.
Additionally, advanced in years, people produce less COQ-10, so heart
problems become an avoidable result.
- A conservative estimate is that 75% of the people over
50 have too LITTLE HCL/pepsin available for proper digestion. That's a
~huge~ number. Conversely, if we could know the accurate percentage of
people with ~real~ hyperacidity, or too MUCH acid, I suspect that that
number would be surprisingly low, not high. It remains, ironically, that
popular culture, and virtually all of mainstream medicine, talks exclusively
about too ~much~ acid -- NEVER too little. This strangely facilitates,
then, the manufacture of expensive substances to suit this peculiar misinformation.
What is going on? How can this be so?
- ...Could the preceding be because two ...very expensive...
prescription antacids are among the top five pharmaceuticals sold? Also
consider, the big pharmaceutical producers can't make money on the one
compound that would very likely help the most -- Betaine HCL w/ pepsin!
These are CHEAP substances to produce and are natural, always superior,
substances... ... substances that can't be patented by drug companies,
I remind the reader, to sell at inflated prices!
- The preceding neatly facilitates a nearly perpetual alkaline
condition, due to LOW stomach acidity. This is ~VERY~ unhealthy ... not
just because it adversely effects digestion, but because a very acidic
(pH less than 3) stomach is needed to kill harmful bacteria and other parasites!
- A despair provoking ~pattern~ emerges. It becomes plain
that indiscriminate and reflexive pill-popping antacid abuse only provides
a continuous flow of revenues for Doctors and Drug Companies. This is not
only because the antacids, themselves, are a big seller, but by adversely
effecting digestion they make people sick in a predicted future as a result
of the unhealthful effects of the undigested protein and harmful critters
not naturally killed off by inadequate acid. Protein which has not been
properly 'softened up' by hydrochloric acid (HCL) with pepsin (protein
digestive enzyme ) can cause allergic reactions, arthritis/joint pain,
and auto-immune wackiness (the undigested protein is actually seen as a
foreign invader by your immune system!).
- This is such a perfect scam for Big Pharm! Not just
because ~low~ acid and ~high~ acid conditions both have similar symptoms,
but because antacids actually appear (but ~only~ appear!) to work by reducing
heartburn! But at what cost, reader!?! The hapless victim never makes
the connection between the antacids taken in the past and the disease now
endured in the present!
- Heartburn and reflux is an extremely complex subject
~ so much so that mainstream medical science does not fully understand
all of the mechanisms that function to protect the esophagus from high
acid conditions... mechanisms generally centered around the lower esophageal
sphincter (LES). This LES opens and closes at various times for various
reasons. When the LES stays open when it shouldn't, stomach acids can
splash-up (reflux) and burn the esophagus. Pretty much the only answer
that doctors seem to have (short of surgery?) is various forms of antacid,
smarmily sold by a smiling washed up quarterback who never warns you of
the potential for a future misery... ...that is very, very real!
- Doctors cite bogus reasons in an attempt to explain what
appears to be a ~defective~ LES... it's either hereditary, a physiological
fluke... or it's YOUR fault because you have gained weight, don't exercise,
eat fatty foods, or eat too much at once. Two things they never mention
though, are the aforementioned and likely ~insufficient~ Stomach Acid...
or the 40 or 50 ~other~ pharmaceuticals compromising an already distressed
or abused LES ... things like blood pressure meds, NSAIDS (Aspirin etc),
- To understand why ~I~ think heartburn is caused by too
little HCL/pepsin, let's state some reference facts and casual observations.
In order to find applicable references, one has to use animals, babies,
or go back several decades before it was discovered that prescription antacids
were such a "gold-mine." The thread is there.
- 1. Why does the LES easily open with only 5 mm Hg
of pressure from above (swallowing) yet 80 mm Hg pressure from below WON'T
force it open. It will; however, gently open to burp with a full stomach,
yet slams closed at the first sign of acid (Dornhurst AC, 1954).
- 2. Doctors were surprised to discover that neither
high nor low stomach acid determines whether or not one got heartburn.
Shouldn't heartburn be pretty much associated with HIGH acid? I mean,
after all, don't doctors prescribe antacids as a matter of course if you
complain of heartburn (...and they rarely, if ever, check acid levels).
- 3. In 1967, Lastaste and Conthier made the following
observation concerning acid secretion and inhibiting reflux. "If
acid/pepsin is required to activate the receptor, it would be expected
that removal of the acid secreting portion of the stomach would cause a
failure of sphincter inhibition and consequently reflux. This complication
has been described. Again, if there is a loss of gastric acid production
from atrophic gastritis, there is increased reflux." In this condition
the pH may be greater than 5 instead of the normal less than 3 (Lastaste
and Conthier, 1967).
- 4. When burping babies, mothers put the baby in a
position so air pushes against the receptive area, not gastric fluid on
the posterior wall of the fundus ~ so gastric fluid won't activate the
inhibitory reflex. In other words the LES will close because of acid thus
prohibiting the burp.
- 5. As early as the previous turn of the century W.
B. Cannon did extensive research in animals that showed that changing from
an alkaline to an acidic stomach caused the cardiac sphincter (same as
LES) to rapidly slam closed ~ thus PROVING the acid~closure connection
( yeah -- I know... it's animals, but so what...) (Cannon, WB 1908).
- 7. In 1953 see what T. Collis had to say about HCL
and the receptor that closes the sphincter. "To be sure, this important
reflex is not the only one affecting the sphincter. For example, it has
been shown that acid stimulation of the esophageal mucosa causes increased
basal production of HCl in the stomach. This seemingly paradoxical vicious
circle may actually serve the organism by feeding back a signal that will
stimulate the CD receptor and thus close the sphincter. ." Think
for a second, reader, with regard to the preceding citation. Mother Nature...
or God, if you'd rather, designed a system ensuring that when acid hits
the mucosal cells of the esophagus, it doesn't do what one might logically
assume, that is to say, stimulate a reduction of acid...NO, Mother Nature
makes even more acid, knowing that is the healthy and intelligent way to
get the LES to close, thus avoiding heartburn... so why would a doctor
do the exact opposite of God by prescribing antacids"?
- With all this in mind, here's how, ~I~ think, too LITTLE
stomach acid can cause heartburn. Let's assume we eat a big meal and have
too little stomach acid, because of age, antacid abuse, carbonated drinks,
et. al. Because of this condition, digestion is slow to take place, so
the food backs up, plus the alkaline stomach, within minutes, causes gas
to build up which also causes the sphincter to relax, allowing stomach
contents to splash into the esophagus. This causes heartburn, even though
we have low stomach acid ~ the little bit of acid that ~is~ there still
burns... ...so we dutifully take our obligatory TUMS. Then, a few minutes
later, we are sure we've done the correct thing, because the burning goes
away. Of course, by then, there is NO acid left to digest your food or
kill harmful bacteria.
- If you have a big meal with plenty of stomach acid, digestion
is speeded along, and the high acid condition causes the LES to stay tightly
closed ~ no heartburn... not to mention good digestion and critter protection.
- It is a very simple process to determine if Betain HCL/pepsin,
supplemental capsules will help you: First big meal take one 250 mg HCL/pepsin
( only take with moderate to large meals that contain protein). If the
meal contains fat you should also take an additional enzyme complex that
contains lipase, etc. If you are really suffering from too much acid,
this additional stomach acid (HCL) will cause your stomach to feel warm,
indicating you don't need additional HCL. If you don't get a warm stomach
then the next day try one HCL capsule right before the meal, then take
one halfway through the meal ~ if no adverse response, then the next day
go to three capsules... continue until your stomach gets warm... and then
back off one. If you have ulcers...don't try this until you fix the ulcer.
Most ulcers can be fixed in 6 to 8 weeks with the proper diet and supplementation...
taking antacids; however, every day will NEVER fix the problem, even though
it gives you the illusion it is.
- Another situation: After quitting antacids and building
up to two or three HCL caps per meal your digestion improves dramatically...
but you still get some occasional heartburn. This indicates that even
at the proper high acid level, your LES is still sluggish and not closing
properly. This could be, as I believe, because you've been operating in
an alkaline condition for so long and have taken so many TUMS that your
LES has *forgotten* how to properly close.
- In this situation, if you do the following, the condition
will hopefully correct itself.
- 1. Take supplements:
- a. Betain HCL/Pepsin
- b. Digestive enzymes ( some formulas contain HCL
w. pepsin ). If you don't have a Gall Bladder -- take a formula with Ox
- c. Probiotic (like acidophilus)-- I think the superior
way to get probiotics is 1 or 2 cups of Kefir daily.
- d. Quality multi-vitamin / mineral / trace minerals.
Take something a notch or two above synthetic/inorganic Multi's like Centrum.
I like Multi's where the majority of the minerals are Amino Acid Chelated,
instead of the cheap inorganic crap like carbonate or oxide found in Theragram,
Flintstones, et al. Get the trace mineral complex with 70+ elements, not
just the handful that doctors say you need.
- e. Sublingual ( under the tongue ) , methylcobolamine
B-12 (1000mcg) -- they also make a 5000mcg tablet, which I perfer.
- f. MSM ~ A natural form of sulfur that aids digestion
and too many other things to mention (by the way, you are not allergic
to "sulfur," only "sulfa" it is impossible to be allergic
to sulfur. Be not fooled).
- g. 3 tablespoons fresh ground Flax Seed daily. You
can take 1 or 2 teaspoons of Flax Oil but freshly ground is SO superior.
- h. 2 to 6 grams of Hi-Potency fish oil -- NO fish
( too much lead & mercury )
- 2. Exercise.
- 3. Lose 10 pounds.
- 4. Avoid high fat meals ~ fat stays in your stomach
- 5. Eat four to six small meals a day. Whey Protein
Isolate Smoothies are great for 2 or 3 of those small meals.
- 6. Make last meal of the day very small and at least
three hours before bed.
- 7. Chew food extra well -- this is where digestion
- 8. Avoid sugar and refined flour.
- 9. Avoid Hydrogenated Or Partially-Hydrogenated Vegetable
Oils / Trans Fat (margarine, etc).
- 10. Avoid poly-unsaturated food oils including Canola
(only use olive oil & unrefined, hexane free, Coconut oil).
- 11. Avoid tap water & bottled water - use a top grade
carbon filter & store water in glass, not plastic. The chlorine in
tap water attacks the good "Bugs" in your gut and the Fluoride/Aluminum
contributes to Thyroid disease, Heart disease, MS, et al.
- Worst situation: If you have a Hiatal Hernia ( Stomach
lining is keeping the LES from closing ) try to do all of the previously
suggested things... ...being particularly careful with the HCL/pepsin until
you determine if it will make the burning worse. In rare situations, the
hiatal hernia can correct itself, if you lose some weight and exercise
moderately. But realistically, in order to have any real hope of these
suggestions correcting the problem you probably need to start with the
stomach lining not protruding up into the esophagus.
- The way to accomplish this is to have a chiropractor
trained to perform the Hiatal Hernia(HH) Procedure where the Doctor pulls
the stomach lining down out of the esophagus. This is generally a temporary
fix that might only stay fixed for a month, a week, or only a few days...
but if you are very aggressive with all of the previous suggestions you
might get things under control without too many returns to the chiropractor
to have the procedure repeated. It's cheap - most chiropractors here in
LA (Lower Alabama) charge $25.00. If you've had a bad HH for a long time,
your first HH manipulation will provide you with a serious, profound, and
instantaneous relief ...trust me, you'll think you've seen God!
- That's the long and the short of it. "Excess acid"
is an ~evil~ myth and the pharmaceuticals proffered to bring that condition
under control are a dangerous and unhealthful fraud! These pharmaceuticals
are needlessly expensive and unnecessary, only lead to subsequent facilitated
diseases to *manage*... ...each with its own class of dangerous and unhealthful
pharmaceuticals! The preceding, of course, only *manages* disease symptoms
without *curing* the disease... ...once again... a refrain becoming increasingly
- Until next time, then. If you have any questions concerning
this paper or info on the somewhat unusual chiropractic procedure for HH...
then give me a call, or E-mail.
- Well, be!
- Alan Graham
- Phone -- (334) 7740395