Everything one needs to know about stomach acid - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-30-2009, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, I'm sorry, I don't know everything one needs to know, but I'm in search of it.

I'd like to learn more - figuring that all the nutritious food in the world is only as good as the digestive system that can utilize it.

I don't really have any problems. Periodically I notice that my stomach hurts after eating (not overeating, just a regular meal) and feels like it's not doing it's job. I also have prematurely grey hair - recent research finds it is correlated with low levels of catalase production (see here: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/03/02/gray-hair.html)

So speculative thinking led me to nutrient dense foods (I'm philosophically TF but the reality of the people I have to feed doesn't let that play out at all meals yet), which then made me think about functional digestion, and somewhere in there I wondered if I could get my body to produce enough catalase as it's apparently a very important enzyme (for more than hair).

Here are the threads I came across:

* On using beetjuice as a test for HCl (digestive acid)
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1050298

Without a juicer, are there other ways to use beets to do this test?


* Mentions meat eating and the need for adequate HCl
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=855012

* A very short thread on Betaine HCl -
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=853633

on a side note, I had tried Vitamin Shoppe's Betaine HCl and it was like taking horse pills! They were huge and hard to swallow (and breaking them in half made for sharp corners). In this thread it's suggested that capsules are better - anybody got more info on that?

Somewhere in one of these threads is a suggestion to build up on the HCl supplements to a "fizzy feeling" in your stomach - does anyone have an original source of this suggestion? Oh, found it in the grey hair thread, here (not the original source, just the mention of it): http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=821073

A thread that talks about heartburn and using vinegar or baking soda for a test: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=630393


I'm really interested to hear of people's experiences - have you found fermented vegies seem to help you digest foods better? Did the addition of apple cider vinegar help?

I know, I know, theoretically the grey hair is good (and it's not that I'm trying to cure it - it's just that if it's a symptom of something else, I'm curious to find out) but I started greying at 18... Lot's of people say, "oh, it's genetic," but I find a distinction between genetic and inherited. I may have inherited a poor start because of my grandmother's and mother's childhood poverty diets - that doesn't mean it's genetic and therefore natural, it just means I got the short end of the stick.

So, anybody? I'd love to hear your experiences.

Thanks!
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:36 PM
 
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It's interesting you should write this as I was just thinking about it last night. I do think that in my case consuming ACV or fermented veggies seems to make my digestion better and I never could quite name what it was that it helped until I started looking into this whole HCl business. It definitely helps me.

I'm 30 and I've got very few gray hairs and as a matter of fact, a few of them have turned back to brown. I don't know *why* this happened - I never looked into possible reasons but I've had at least two hairs that were white on the bottom and brown at the top, closer to the scalp. Thank you for giving me things to research! The really sad part is, I've always wanted to be a woman with gray long hair and it looks like I'm going to have to wait hehe.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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I have also been thinking about these things recently and I also read the connection to grey hair and low enzymes.
i find that I feel good and digestion is also good when I do acv. I take enzymes, I wonder if that has any effect on the grey hair?
Iam in my mid forties so some greying is normal i think. i started getting grey hairs a few years ago.
iam interested to learn what we can here
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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You can eat beets any way, just not pickled, for the beet test.
I failed the beet test for as long as I can remember so when these threads started, I was very interested and started upping my fermented food intake. I had plenty of other reasons, too, as my dd has intolerances to dairy and gluten and also peed pink. We've been taking Houston Enzymes for almost a month now and eating more fermented foods. We have been doing water kefir everyday for the last week and a half and we ate beets last night and no pink pee today! I think we really need the enzymes to help absorb nutrients for healing right now. I say "we", because although I never thought I had any problem foods, after being off gluten and dairy with my dd, I have had some long and short term things clear up. Acne, itchy scalp, wrinkles around my eyes, anxiety, etc. I can eat eggs again, which I started getting gall bladder like pain from postpartum. I am hoping my gray hairs stop and the vertical ridges in my nails go away.

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Old 03-31-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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I'm curious about this as well!
What I know about the mechanics of stomach acid production:

An enzyme, carbonic anhydrase takes carbon dioxide and water and creates hydrogen ions and bicarbonate ions (as in baking soda). The bicarb is then swapped out through the stomach wall for chloride ions, and the result is HCl in your stomach, and bicarb in the blood. When the contents of the stomach reach the small intestine, it's called chyme, and it's mixed with bile. The bile has bicarb, to neutralize the stomach acid.

Carbonic anhydrase requires zinc as a building block. The absorption of zinc largely depends on adequate stomach acid - so if your stomach acid is low, that's a pretty good bet you're low on zinc. You can also try tasting a zinc sulfate solution. If it's tasteless, you're deficient, if it's nasty, you're fine

Stomach acid is released in the presence of histamine, and fermented foods have pretty high levels of histamine.

Re: the beet test - any form of beets should do, so long as they're not the yellow ones Fermented beets would have histamine, so might confuse the picture a little. I think the conclusion we came to before was that if you fail the test, you're definitely not in good shape, but passing might not mean much?

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Old 03-31-2009, 01:52 PM
 
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I had/have a lot of symptoms of low stomach acid--post-partum gallbladder pain, inability to store iron, allergens to proteins (gluten, eggs, casien)..All associated with ow stomach acid. I failed the beet test even with ferments! Yikes!

Doing raw acv/dandelion root tea right before I eat, eating ferments with meals (water kefir, kombucha, saurkraut), and taking Super enzymes helped the gallbladder pain A LOT. The USper Enzymes alone really did not help much. I think stimulating stomach acid is going to be big for my gut/allergen healing.

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Old 03-31-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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I also have been meaning to research something I read on the Enzymes & Autism group, that if you have low stomach acid, minerals won't be absorbed well unless they are the citrate form or you take them with acv or lemon water. This was in reference to supplements, don't know how or why it would apply to food.

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Old 03-31-2009, 07:39 PM
 
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We are on GAPs, which is all about digestion. We are taking 2 capsules betaine HCL with pepsin with every meal, except very light soup meals, when we take 1. I buy the Thorne Research, or Tyler brands, since they are easy to find brands with the least ingredients.

We were instructed to take the Betaine HCl for a few months, then slowly up our fermented foods and replace the Betaine HCL with the fermented foods. Also very good for digestion are bone broths. We are not allowed water with meals, only broths; we drink our water at least an hour after and 1/2 hour before meals. We cook our broths less than the recommended NT times, according to the GAPs instructions, since prolonged cooking breaks down the gelatin, and it's the gelatin that will aid in digestion and provide the building blocks for the gut lining.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:05 AM
 
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subbing because I have experienced some of the same postpartum things a few pp's mentioned - gallbladder pain but no stones, and have been unable to eat egg whites ever since dd was born. I've been coming up on the low Hcl idea awhile now but this is the first time I've seen other mamas talk about having this same group of postpartum issues.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone for so many replies. I'm so interested in these personal takes on this.

For those of you taking ACV (quietserena, newcastlemama, mombh) are you taking it in a little water before your meals (all meals or just one or two?) or during?

I just made sauerkraut but the hard part is going to be to remember to eat it - I tend to get so wrapped up in the cooking end of dinner (or whatever meal, though I can't say I'd really eat sauerkraut for breakfast) that by the time everything's ready for the table I've forgotten about it completely. Maybe I should just be smart and put it on the table first!

I'd prefer to start with what I have on hand, but am interested in the Betaine HCl...

So I'm still not sure if the beet test is referring to drinking the juice of beets or just eating a bunch of them (I mean, not literally a bunch, right?)

Ok, I'm going to go put the sauerkraut on the table!
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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I imagine that I do have a stomach acid problem. I have been taking Zypan (Standard Process) for about 6 months now. I take two after each meal. It makes a HUGE difference. I didn't really research stomach acid problems, I was having digestion issues and my chiropractor's wife does nutritional screening, she did this bioelectrical testing and it said I needed a digestion supplement. Zypan contains: Betaine HCl, pancreas cytosol extract, pancreatin, fatty acid, pepsin, ammonium chloride, bovine spleen, and ovine spleen. Sounds gross....works great.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:04 AM
 
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Oh.WOW. Grey hairs turning to brown???? Really?????????

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Old 04-08-2009, 02:10 AM
 
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So do you have to take HCL/enzyme supps? Can fermented foods be enough?
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whoMe View Post
I
Stomach acid is released in the presence of histamine, and fermented foods have pretty high levels of histamine.
I'm so glad this topic came up again. With all my food allergies, I was pretty sure I had stomach acid issues... but when I started take some betaine HCL, I got stomach aches. Stopped taking it, stomach aches went away. Hmmm... perhaps that's not what I need? I was only taking one capsule... I was going to work my way up.

But I'm also intrigued by the knowledge that histamine is involved. I have been taking an anti-histamine (Zyrtec) for a few years now, thanks to all the airborne allergies I have... and I wonder if it suppresses histamine throughout the body? I'd guess it does. And what would that do to stomach acid levels?

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Old 04-09-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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Subbing - I am getting soooo sick of my gray hair! I'm only 31 but I have a ton of gray hair. It started when I was like 24 I think. I thought it was a zinc issue but that's not to say I've taken enough zinc to do anything. Definitely going to read the links. Thanks!

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Old 04-10-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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I finally passed the beet test! I've been really trying to eat lots of ferments and it has paid off. I'm just hoping that this will help with my zinc deficiency as supplimenting has barely touched it.

Ruth, mum to B (9), P (8) and T (5)

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Old 04-11-2009, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rainbow2911,
can I ask, how were you doing the beet test? I'm still trying to find out if it requires juicing the beets or just eating large quantities. Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Didn't need large quantities for me but I could be a freak! A pack of vegetable crisps (with about 1/4 beetroot) used to make me pee pink. I tried it out eating a bowl of borscht which seems the most civilised way to me! : Some people say boiled beetroot doesn't work but I've always found that borscht gave me pink pee before - perhaps because the water the beets are boiled in is eaten too. Pickled beetroot on a salad would be a good (tasty!) way to try this out too.
Hope that helps!

Ruth, mum to B (9), P (8) and T (5)

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Old 04-14-2009, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I'll just try eating it raw (makes sense about steamed beets losing something in their steaming water).
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:45 PM
 
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oh this is SO interesting!!!

I have had stomach problems for as long as I can remember. seem to be linked to my liver - I take dandelion root and milk thistle and it helps a good bit. but now I am pregnant and it's not enough. I'm taking zantac 3 times a day b/c I will vomit off of the stomach acid coming up. and I realize pregnancy and the relaxation of the sphincter, but it's SO bad. I take tums through out the day and sip on baking soda water. I KNOW this isn't a good idea... but the pain is intolerable and makes me puke. I have been trying to find better ways to deal with it.

an another note I also have "fructose intolerance". I cant eat anything with fructose in it or I get a very hypoglycemic reaction - low blood sugar, shaking, head ache, buzzing ears, I puke, diarrhea, itchy skin, excema... within seconds of it being in my mouth and it lasts for hours. (sometimes this happens even if I smell it) and it's worse when pregnant. been this way since I was little.... and I wonder if there is any correlation between the two?

anyhow this thread is awesome!

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Old 04-28-2009, 07:41 PM
 
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This thread interests me too - I have been recently diagnosed with reflux, and had a schatzki's ring dilated. I noticed w/ea. pregnancy (3) that my heartburn got worse. I do have a small hernia, but most people who have hernias aren't aware of them, so I know that is not the sole culprit. I was interested to note the trouble with egg whites that some have had. I've had gray hair since I was 21. I've also had more immunizations than most, and had a strong reaction once, so I've kind of been going along thinking maybe they affected me for the long run...although the story goes that I couldn't tolerate dairy-based formula and had to be fed soy. Maybe I WAS born with it! Anway - this thread IS awesome! Thanks!
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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I've been learning about stomach acid in class. Basically, that it's released in response to histamine, acetylcholine (the neurotransmitter associated with the parasympathetic 'rest and digest' nervous system), and gastrin. Gastrin comes from G cells. Among other things, gastrin also contracts the lower esophageal sphincter - the one that isn't working properly with reflux.

I'm still looking up more, but here's an article that promises to be interesting if you can understand it
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/art...i?artid=409853

I'm really excited by this

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Old 05-02-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post

an another note I also have "fructose intolerance". I cant eat anything with fructose in it or I get a very hypoglycemic reaction - low blood sugar, shaking, head ache, buzzing ears, I puke, diarrhea, itchy skin, excema... within seconds of it being in my mouth and it lasts for hours. (sometimes this happens even if I smell it) and it's worse when pregnant. been this way since I was little.... and I wonder if there is any correlation between the two?
I've never heard of this being connected to fructose. Might it be Oral Allergy Syndrome? http://allergies.about.com/od/foodallergies/a/oas.htm
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:25 PM
 
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Stomach acid poll

eta and a cool link about gastrin
http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks...i/gastrin.html

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Old 05-02-2009, 08:35 PM
 
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I took it!
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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I took it!


More random info:
"Gastrin and cholecystokinin (CCK) are more active when sulphated."
http://www.healthgeneration.com/inde...ask=view&id=55

Sulfate deficiency is associated with low sulfur intake and/or low sulfoxidation. So if you have reflux and asthma and joint problems, molybdenum would be a good nutrient to consider.

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Old 05-03-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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I keep meaning to come back to this thread and post.

I don't know what's happened but since I've posted here, I've had terrible indigestion and just upset stomach all around. I've had an ulcer diagnosis on and off over the yeras since I was a kid and I'm getting the same sort of a pain as I used to when that diagnosis was made. We had beets in the veggie roast.. and i failed it with.. um flying colors.

So something is definitely messed up. I'm thinking, I need more ACV at least. I take it in water. I think I'm going to make sure I have a salad regularly too since I put it in my salad dressing too and I try to eat my salad with a spoon so all the dressing gets eaten up too.

I've been against introducing supplements for so long, but the idea of betaine hcl seems intriguing.

So, I'm still researching. It's been years since I've had these problems and I thought I took care of it.. :
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:49 AM
 
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So do beets turning your poop red mean anything?
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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cross linking the iodine thread... (and very much truncating!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristSavesAll View Post
Several human organs need iodine but can not absorb it until blood iodine levels reach high values (stomach, salivary glands). Most persons exhibit impaired production of stomach acid as they age. This impaired capability to produce adequate stomach acid may be a result of iodine deficiency as iodine promotes stomach acidity." (Per http://www.vickeryseaplantminerals.com/Page.html)

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