The importance of good digestion.
Like all systems in our body, the digestive system is very important. Our mouth takes in food, our stomach turns it into a slimy, green sludge then our intestines absorb all the wonderful vitamins, minerals and nutrients we feed it and nourishes the rest of our body with everything it needs so we can work, play, perform, think, sleep, lift weights…..the list is endless.
What if part of our digestive system isn’t working as well as it should? If our stomach, or more specifically, the amount of stomach acid in our stomach is the issue, this needs to be rectified in order for our stomach to properly break down our food so it can be absorbed into the body effectively.
What is stomach acid?
Stomach acid is a digestive fluid formed in your stomach to break down food. It contains hydrochloric acid (HCL), potassium chloride, and sodium chloride.
What does stomach acid do?
Stomach acid activates digestive enzymes to break down our food, particularly protein. For those of you wanting to increase your protein as a dietary choice or to build muscle, take note! Stomach acid plays a principal role in the breakdown of protein!
The absorption of at least eight essential nutrients are also dependent on adequate stomach acid (calcium, vitamins B9 and 12, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin C, and beta carotene) as well as two antioxidant vitamins, A and E, that help our body fight off chronic inflammation.
What happens to stomach acid as we age?
The stomach’s ability to produce HCL decreases by about 1% each year, meaning that by age 70, our HCL is 70 percent lower than when first born.
If I have low stomach acid, how does this affect me?
As previously mentioned, stomach acid contains hydrochloric acid (HCL), potassium chloride and sodium chloride. Typically, we have problems producing enough HCL. There are a variety of symptoms associated with low stomach acid.
Indirect symptoms of low HCL include the lack of results from training, inability to loose fat despite following a fat loss protocol, and always feeling tired.
Symptoms that are directly related to low HCL:
1) Belching, bloating, or “acid reflux” after eating
2) Indigestion and constipation because food is not being digested properly
3) Skin conditions such as acne
4) Vertical ridging on the nails because of inability to absorb nutrients from food
5) Leg and foot cramps because you are not absorbing minerals
6) Chronic injuries due poor amino acid status and inability to restore tissue
7) Food allergies and asthma
9) Poor cognitive function and the onset of dementia
10) Low bone mineral density and osteoporosis
Testing Stomach Acid
Before you take another supplement or eat a nutritious, organic meal packed with protein and antioxidants, test your stomach acid. If you don’t have enough stomach acid to break down food, all your careful (and expensive) supplementation and meal preparation will less effective than it would be otherwise.
Testing your stomach acid is a very simple test. To test your stomach acid and get an HCL supplement, contact us, as testing and supplementation require proper guidance and support. We are here to help!
(Note: This test is not suggested for those with Peptic Ulcers)
Modified from Charles R. Poliquin's original article (source unavailable)