Is consuming beet juice really a valid test for adequate HCL? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 03-03-2009, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I've seen variations of the beet juice test on line for years. I finally decided to try it since I had some beets for Kvass making in the fridge. I don't have any symptoms of digestive issues, but do seem to have high needs for many nutrients so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I was surprised that my urine came out pink tinged after consuming the beet juice.

I happened to be at our acupuncturist/NAET that afternoon for my dd so I asked him to test me with his HCL vial. I didn't go weak to it indicating that there was not an imbalance present (We've been going to him for a year and a half and this practitioner is very gifted with NAET).

I was a bit suspicious, but stopped by the HFS for some betaine HCL. The following article made me question the validity of the beet juice test to determine HCL :

Quote:
Betalain colouration is unaffected by pH in the range 3.5 to 7.0 (acid to neutral). Beetroot extracts in most foods will therefore not discolour as a direct result of pH. The optimum pH for both betacyanin and betaxanthin pigments occurs in the slightly acidic 5.0-6.0 range. The colour of red beetroot extract changes from red towards blue as pH increases above 7.0. Root tissue exposed to high or alkaline pH (7.5-8.5) becomes discoloured. Cut beetroot retains its purple-red colour well in acidic solutions such as malt vinegar (acetic acid).
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep.../beetroot5.htm

Information that I found elsewhere stated that a healthy gastric ph was <4 and it seems from the article that the betalain colouration could be unaffected by a helathy gastric ph of 3.5 - 3.9.

Any thoughts?
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#2 of 16 Old 03-03-2009, 03:43 PM
 
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My only experience is that when I first started TF my urine was BRIGHT pink from eating lacto fermented beets....but now, a month later, it's normal.

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#3 of 16 Old 03-03-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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Good question!

From wikipedia, normal stomach pH is 1-2. And everyone seems to agree that HCl can de-colorize betalain, turning it to pink or yellow.

There are other factors, however, like oxalic acid and iron and ascorbic acid and gut bacteria that play in as well.

I interpret beeturia to mean beet pigment in urine, but at least one source said it was in urine OR stool. So there may be some confusion there.

The links that talk about oxalic acid in the colon being a major variable... People here are reporting 'beet pee' within 20-30 minutes after eating beets. That's how long it takes for food to start leaving the stomach, and the colon is the last stop in digestion!

My interpretation is that there are several places that beets can lose their color. Low enough stomach pH is one place where the color can disappear. So maybe the interpretation of the beet test should just be that if you fail, you don't have adequate HCl, but if you pass, there could be many other factors at work, keeping the color out.

Sonnambula could probably help more...

some links from wuwei:
http://www.allergyadvisor.com/Educational/Febr03.htm
http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/...ract/88/10/711
http://www.jonbarron.org/blog_publis...mach_acid.html
http://dmd.aspetjournals.org/cgi/content/full/29/4/539

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#4 of 16 Old 03-04-2009, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
My only experience is that when I first started TF my urine was BRIGHT pink from eating lacto fermented beets....but now, a month later, it's normal.
Very interesting that you had such a dramatic change in one month! I take it by normal you mean yellow without any pink whatsoever.
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#5 of 16 Old 03-04-2009, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by whoMe View Post
Good question!

From wikipedia, normal stomach pH is 1-2. And everyone seems to agree that HCl can de-colorize betalain, turning it to pink or yellow.

There are other factors, however, like oxalic acid and iron and ascorbic acid and gut bacteria that play in as well.

I interpret beeturia to mean beet pigment in urine, but at least one source said it was in urine OR stool. So there may be some confusion there.

The links that talk about oxalic acid in the colon being a major variable... People here are reporting 'beet pee' within 20-30 minutes after eating beets. That's how long it takes for food to start leaving the stomach, and the colon is the last stop in digestion!

My interpretation is that there are several places that beets can lose their color. Low enough stomach pH is one place where the color can disappear. So maybe the interpretation of the beet test should just be that if you fail, you don't have adequate HCl, but if you pass, there could be many other factors at work, keeping the color out.

Sonnambula could probably help more...

some links from wuwei:
http://www.allergyadvisor.com/Educational/Febr03.htm
http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/...ract/88/10/711
http://www.jonbarron.org/blog_publis...mach_acid.html
http://dmd.aspetjournals.org/cgi/content/full/29/4/539
Thanks for the information. I really don't know what to think now. From your first link I found this :

Quote:
What factors can influence beeturia?

The type of beetroot. Individuals who produce an intense coloration with one variety can produce urine with a virtually normal coloration with another. The pigment concentration of the "Detroit Rubidus" variety is twice than that of the "Firechief" variety, for example.1,7

The times of planting and harvesting. Additionally, concentrated beetroot extract is added to certain brands to enhance coloration. These factors, amongst others, can help in explaining the variation in results in the literature.1,7

Preparation. Boiled beetroot does not predictably lead to beeturia, whereas pickled beetroot does. The acid vinegar may alter the state of the oxalic acid.4

Intestinal function. Where there is reduced absorption from the small intestine, as in malabsorption, more oxalic acid would pass to the colon to protect the pigment and induce beeturia.1,4
I couldn't open the second or third links to the specified page, but found essentially the same info in the fourth link :

Quote:
Furthermore, the type of beetroot (variety, preparation, source) used influenced the outcome; susceptible individuals who gave an intense coloration with one variety gave virtually normal urine with another (Pearcy et al., 1992; Watts et al., 1993). It is known that the times of planting and harvesting greatly influence the pigment content of the crop and that concentrated beetroot extract is added to certain brands to enhance the coloration of their finished products (Shannon, 1972). Clearly, such factors amid others are probably sufficient to account for the gross variation in frequencies reported within the literature.
This was also interesting becuase I have wondered before if my gastric emptying time tended to be a bit fast :

Quote:
Experiments in rats have suggested that the stomach is the main site responsible for the decolorization of beetroot. It is known that the mean fasting acidity of the human stomach is about pH 2, and in these conditions rapid decomposition of the pigment occurs (Dressman et al., 1990; Watts et al., 1993). As these latter authors have adeptly commented, "if the acid-catalyzed degradation of beetroot pigments in the stomach is a major determinant of their fate in man, the occurrence of beeturia may be more common in individuals who, after eating beetroot, show a slow decrease in stomach pH to fasting levels coupled with a rapid rate of gastric emptying". (Watts et al., 1993). This hypothesis has recently been supported by a report of an elderly man who to his knowledge had never produced red urine following beetroot ingestion but suddenly displayed erythruria during the time he had been taking a course of ranitidine, the histamine H2-receptor antagonist, for reflux esophagitis (Mitchell, 1996).
and this from the fourth link :

Quote:
If pigment is present, therefore, the resulting color intensity is dependent upon the urinary pH.
So there seems to be even more possible variables.

Hmmm. The NAET test was negative, I don't have any digestive difficulties, and I eat baked beetroot and beet kvass without pink urine (though never on an empty stomach or in the morning). I do wonder if I have some malabsorbtion issues since I seem to have high nutrient requirements. Not sure what to make of this, but leaning more towards thinking that pink urine after consuming beet juice may be affected by more factors than just gastric ph.
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#6 of 16 Old 03-04-2009, 12:49 AM
 
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fixed the links

Yeah, it seems like it's complicated, and I'm sorry, my brain isn't willing to wrap around it right now. I think I'll just consider a fail as a fail of the stomach acid test, but a pass is meaningless.

Histamine is supposed to encourage the release of stomach acid, and ferments have histamine.

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#7 of 16 Old 03-04-2009, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I'm going to bite the bullet and just have a complete nutritional panel done to have a better idea of how I'm absorbing.
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#8 of 16 Old 03-04-2009, 04:21 PM
 
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I don't have pink urine when I eat beets, but I just started taking HCl, and I'm up to 5 150 mg pills per meal with no burning/fizzy feeling. So I'm guessing the fact that I 'passed' the beet test, doesn't mean I have adequate HCl.
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#9 of 16 Old 03-04-2009, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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From what I've read 150 mg caps are too low. My friend who is the kids CN with WAP sent me the following :

Quote:
Hydrochloric Assessment
It is best to have your stomach function tested. If the test results indicate low levels of stomach acid, supplementing with either betaine hydrochloride-pepsin or glutamic-acid hydrochloride-pepsin may be appropriate.
Here are 2 simple methods that may help you determine if you need more hydrochloric acid.
Supplements:
1.Begin by taking 1 capsule containing 10 grains (600 mg) of HCl at your next large meal. If these do not aggravate your symptoms, at every subsequent meal of the same size, take one more capsule. (One at the next meal, two at the meal after that, and three at the next meal.) When taking a number of capsules, it is best to take them throughout the meal.
2.Continue to increase the dose until you reach 7 tablets or until you feel a warmth in your stomach, whichever occurs first. A feeling of warmth in the stomach means that you have taken too many tablets for that meal, and you need to take one less tablet for that meal size. It is a good idea to try the large dose again at another meal to make sure that it was the HCl that caused the warmth and not something else.
3.After you have found the largest dose you can take at your large meals without feeling any stomach warmth, maintain that dose at all meals of a similar size. You will need to take less at smaller meals.
4.As your stomach begins to regain the ability to produce the amount of HCl needed to properly digest your food, you will notice the warm feeling again and will have to reduce the dose.
Resource: Murray M, Pizzorno J. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin (CA): Prima Publishing; 1998.
I also read from another source to take the caps right after eating so that your body would still produce it's own HCL at the beginning and throughout the meal.
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#10 of 16 Old 03-04-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kortner View Post
I don't have pink urine when I eat beets, but I just started taking HCl, and I'm up to 5 150 mg pills per meal with no burning/fizzy feeling. So I'm guessing the fact that I 'passed' the beet test, doesn't mean I have adequate HCl.
No passing the beet test, doesn't necessarily mean you have adequate HCl. But, NOT passing (pink pee) means that you do NOT have adequate HCl. I believe.


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#11 of 16 Old 03-04-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kortner View Post
I don't have pink urine when I eat beets, but I just started taking HCl, and I'm up to 5 150 mg pills per meal with no burning/fizzy feeling. So I'm guessing the fact that I 'passed' the beet test, doesn't mean I have adequate HCl.
Fermented foods will naturally increase HCl, per my understanding. No pills required.


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#12 of 16 Old 03-10-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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Dumb question: if you have indigestion, does that mean you have sufficient (or maybe even too much) HCl? In other words, is occasional indigestion a sign that one's HCl levels are fine?
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#13 of 16 Old 03-10-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MMGerard View Post
Dumb question: if you have indigestion, does that mean you have sufficient (or maybe even too much) HCl? In other words, is occasional indigestion a sign that one's HCl levels are fine?
Heartburn/reflux tend to be a sign of *not enough* HCl, because it's the low pH that triggers the valve at the esophagus to close. At least, that's my understanding.

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#14 of 16 Old 11-30-2009, 08:31 AM
 
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my spoon is too big, thankfully i have a knife and fork

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#15 of 16 Old 09-16-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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Bump.


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#16 of 16 Old 09-17-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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I finally trid beet soup since beets are so plentiful in the fall. Sure enough, at the othe end, pink for days in my stool.

I waited a few weeks madethe soup again, and ate a lcto fermented pickle with it, and I passed the pink pee test!

I waited again, and ate some sausage with the beet soup and I was all good.
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