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The Hydorochloric Acid connection (HCL)

July 5, 2011

For a time now, I was wondering why the Gerson Therapy requires supplementation of HCL and Okra Pepsin.

Eat beets. If they turn your urine pink/red, then you have low stomach acid. Stomach acid is a very important first step in digestion. Without enough, you can’t absorb B12, and you have trouble absorbing zinc as well as several other nutrients. If you don’t have adequate stomach acid, proteins aren’t broken down properly, and so they can cause trouble in the small intestine and/or get absorbed whole into the bloodstream.

Gluten and casein are famous for being addictive because they form opiod-like substances. Stomach acid is necessary to prevent them from becoming opiods.

Histamine helps trigger the release of stomach acid. Histamine is found in several foods, especially ferments, so pile on another reason to eat ferments with every meal. Adequate zinc is also necessary to produce stomach acid (remember what’s not absorbed well without it?).

If one system (digesting proteins with HCl in the stomach) doesn’t work, then the next system addresses the problem, if it is functioning. If the HCl is present with zinc and B1 and B6, then the proteins are digested!!


If you don’t have enough HCl, easy to address! This is a terrific diagram of chemical “Pathways to Happiness and Sleep” (Serotonin and Melatonin). http://www.understand-andcure-anxiet…Melatonin.html

Quote from ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride.

People with abnormal gut flora almost without exception have low stomach acid production. Toxins produced by overgrowth of Candida species, Clostridia and other pathogens have a strong ability to reduce secretion of stomach acid.

What does it mean and why is it important?

The stomach is the place where protein digestion begins. Hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach walls activates pepsin, a protein-digesting enzyme, which starts breaking down the very complex structure of dietary proteins into peptides and amino acids. To do its work properly pepsin needs the pH of the stomach to be 3 or below. In Hypochlorhydria not enough acid is produced, so the pH in the stomach is not low enough for pepsin to do its job properly.”

“As a result of low stomach acid production the whole process of protein digestion in the body goes wrong from the very beginning. The maldigested protein then passes through to the small intestine. The intestinal wall and pancreatic enzymes, which accomplish further steps in the protein digestion, expect the protein to arrive from the stomach in a particular form in order to do their job properly. It is like a conveyer belt or an assembly line in a factory. If the first person does a poor job, then no matter how well the rest of the people in the line may work, the end product is likely to be of a poor quality. However, what happens in the body is even worse. The problem is that in the body ‘the rest of the line’ cannot work properly either, because it is regulated by the first person. This first person is the stomach acid.”

A lack of stomach acid raises further and more serious implications. It is a barrier against harmful microbes from anything we put in our mouth. Without that protection, those pathogens can get through to the intestines and set up home. Once they are in there they can trigger symptoms in any part of the body. As Natasha continues…

Normally the stomach is the least populated area of the digestive system due to its extremely acid environment. However, in a person with Hypochlorhydria all sorts of pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria and fungi can grow on the stomach wall, such as Helicobacter Pylori, Campylobacter pylori, Enterobacteria, Candida, Salmonella, E.Coli, Streptococci, etc. The most research in this area has been done in stomach cancer patients, the majority of which show low levels of stomach acid production. Microbes, which populate low acid stomach play a very important role in causing stomach cancer, ulcers and gastritis.

Of course, most of these microbes love to eat carbohydrates, particularly the processed kind. The digestion of carbohydrates starts in the mouth with the action of saliva. When the food arrives in the stomach in the normal situation stomach acid stops this digestion. So, carbohydrates have to wait until they arrive in the duodenum to be digested. But in the stomach with low acidity overgrowing microbes start fermenting dietary carbohydrates, often with the production of various toxins and gas, which can make it very uncomfortable….. ”…howtopic=53628

So, then with abnormal gut flora, and undigested proteins, you end up with Leaky Gut!

If you have functional detox pathways, the toxins get excreted through urine, stool, skin, and breastmilk.

From the “Health Benefits of Fermenting Foods”:
“Ever since people have been eating food, they have been using these friendly critters to ferment at least some of them. From meat and milk to grains and vegetables, lacto-fermenting (or fermenting using lactic acid producing bacterium) has promoted thorough digestion and good health for centuries.

Fermenting a food increases it’s digestibility in several ways. First it pre-digests the food making for less work for your body. Second it adds to its enzyme content. Third it adds lactic acid and lactic acid producing bacteria to the intestinal tract where they continue their digestive properties as well as controlling pathogens such as parasites and Candida albicans. They promote formation of B vitamins and enzymes in the intestines. They can neutralize cancer causing substances and protect you from their effects. The presence of lactic acid is vital to proper digestion, but in this day of antibiotics and fake foods, our own population of lactobacilli are often lacking.”

Eat some sauerkraut! Drink some kefir!!

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