Nutrients & Digestion: An Inside Look

Good health begins with the proper digestion and assimilation of food. Unfortunately, many people have impaired digestive function in one way or another. This could be due to numerous factors including poor diet, chronic infections, nutrient deficiencies or toxic overload.

There are many wonderful things that can improve upon a person’s myriad of digestive functions. Eating a diet that is compatible for your body chemistry andMetabolic Type is essential, as is the quality of food you’re eating and how it is prepared. Digestive support can also be facilitated through the use of certain nutritional supplements such as digestive enzymes, Betaine HCL with pepsin, Malic Acid, digestive bitters and bile acid glandulars.

Hydrochloric Acid: Key Nutrients Needed

The primary role of hydrochloric acid is to sterilize the food you eat and to prevent harmful bacteria from entering the GI tract. HCL also triggers the release of enzymes such as pepsin which are essential for the digestion of protein.

Upon being released by the parietal cells of the stomach, HCL also triggers the release of alkaline bicarbonate into the blood. Its important to mention that HCL production is a major expenditure of biological energy. There are numerous minerals that are hydrochloric acid dependent, chiefly: chromium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Of these minerals, zinc and sodium are both responsible for the production of HCL. HCL production is also dependent upon the B-Vitamins thiamine (B-1), Pyroxidine (B-6) and Niacin (B-3).

Deficiencies in HCL can and likely will result in the inability to utilize several vitally important minerals and nutrients!

Causes of HCL Deficiency

What Causes HCL Deficiency?

Older than 45 years of age
Antacids
H-Pylori and other harmful bacteria
Proton Pump Inhibitors
H1/H2 Blockers
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Chicken Pox
Intestinal Dysbiosis

Runaway antacid use is a primary cause of HCL deficiency. This causes metabolic alkalosis, and the excess of bicarbonate in the stomach and blood, altering the ph balance. The bacteria helicobacter pylori (H-Pylori) is a bacteria that is present in approximately 50-90% of people. Most people who have H-Pylori have no symptoms of it! H-Pylori shuts down the production of HCL.

An important and interesting discovery made by Jonathon Wright, MD is that people who had the chicken pox virus, often have low HCL later in life. This may or may not be due to the chicken pox vaccine.

Hydrochloric acid also tends to decline with age, especially after age 45.

Digestive Enzymes

Enzymes are proteins that increase the rates of various chemical reactions, including the breaking down of food into their biochemical constituents. The digestive process is very complex and involves numerous processes and chemical reactions.

I am a proponent of eating raw foods because I believe that raw foods assist in the pre-digestion of food in the stomach. I also recommend taking digestive enzymes at the start of a meal when the meal consists of cooked food. If a person has any degree of digestive distress, taking plant-based digestive enzymes can be a huge component of the healing process.

Plant-based digestive enzymes have a wider ph range than animal-based enzymes, and can therefore work under acidic conditions.

Ox Bile Glandulars

The use of ox bile as a digestive stimulant has been in practice for thousands of years. Taking ox bile as a digestive aid assists and improves upon the digestion of fat and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). A bile salt deficiency may result in excess production of stomach acid.

When taking bile salts or ox bile glandulars, they are best taken at the end of a meal.

Bile is an essential component for the breakdown, assimilation and utilization of fats. Fats are the raw material of hormones! If there is an inadequate breakdown of fat in the liver, this may be a primary cause of hormonal imbalances!

Identifying Underlying Digestive Distress

Underlying digestive distress isn’t always easy to identify. Basic, subjective factors like gas, bloating and indigestion are very common signs that you have various problems within your digestive tract. Prolongued symptoms can be indicative of more serious conditions such as GERD or  chronic infections.

There are numerous means to gauge digestive distress. Certain laboratory testing can be very beneficial such as THIS test as well as THIS test.

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