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Are there any dangers to taking HCL Pepsin supplement long term?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Bansaw, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. Bansaw

    Bansaw Senior Member

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    If I find out I am low on stomach acid, I might look at taking HCL Pepsin supplement.

    Are there any known dangers of taking such a supplement long term?
    Or would you prefer a more natural way of increasing stomach acid?
     
  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member

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    I doubt anyone has data on long term safety and I doubt that one can really tolerate taking enough HCl and pepsin to make much difference to digestion. It ought to be violently unpleasant I guess. However, we do know that gastric content getting into the oesophagus (gullet) from below can cause both stricture and cancer so on prinicple it does not sound a good idea. Basically, if you drink as much HCl as a stomach normally produces you should expect to get a stricture - which may require major surgery.
     
  3. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    You take them as tablets rather than as a drink and only with meals. People titrate up from a low dose over days or weeks until they feel a sensation of warmth in the stomach and then they reduce the dose.

    I think it's one of those nonpatentable things that's never going to get tested because there's no money in it.
     
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  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I'm not saying they're safe, BTW - it's just that I was looking into these recently and that's what I read.
     
  5. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member

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    That might worry me even more since the tablet could lodge half way down the gullet and bore a hole with mediastinitis and death. That used to happen with potassium tablets. It might well generate a feeling of warmth just before it perforates! The reason I suspect it does not do so is that there probably isn't much in the tablet! If there was enough to improve digestion I think people would be queuing up for stricture surgery by now.

    The pepsin might help people with no pepsin but I thought the problem was supposed to be low acid.
     
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Wow! That's very scary. They're sold over the counter and quite widely recommended for people as a test to see if they've got low stomach acid. Some people say that you should do it under a doctor's guidance but others don't.

    I hadn't been aware of that problem with potassium tablets. People here on PR doing the methylation protocols are recommended to take potassium gluconate tablets if they start to show symptoms of low potassium (or at least that was the case when I was trying those protocols myself a few years ago) - not sure if that's the same stuff.

    I've had concerns over recent weeks about low stomach acid (I had an oesophageal spasm out of nowhere and then reflux every day for the past two and a half weeks, now almost gone, so I hope I'm out of the woods) and have been taking Gentian bitters (drops in water) before meals to stimulate stomach acid. Maybe that's the safer option... dunno...
     
  7. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I took Betaine HCL for about 10 years with no problem. Then I went out to dinner and got a very bad dose of food poisoning which really wrecked my digestive system. Don't think that they were related as there was no change to my stomach before that.
     
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  8. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    Hi it does seem to be pretty effective http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/mp4003738

    /"/Betaine HCl significantly lowered gastric pH by 4.5 (±0.5) units from 5.2 (±0.5) to 0.6 (±0.2) (P < 0.001) during the 30 min interval after administration. The onset of effect of betaine HCl was rapid, with a mean time to pH < 3 of 6.3 (±4.3) min. The reacidification period was temporary with a gastric pH < 3 and < 4 lasting 73 (±33) and 77 (±30) min, respectively. Betaine HCl was well tolerated by all subjects. In healthy volunteers with pharmacologically induced hypochlorhydria, betaine HCl was effective at temporarily lowering gastric pH. The rapid onset and relatively short duration of gastric pH reduction gives betaine HCl the potential to aid the absorption of orally administered weakly basic drugs that exhibit pH-dependent solubility when administered under hypochlorhydric conditions./"/

    I have only started taking it recently, but it seems to be making a big difference to how I feel after a meal. It was part of the recommendations following faecal pathology in which undigested protein and fat was found in the stools. The acid is of course necessary to activate the enzymes and to stimulate the release of bile. It is also important in the digestion of various minerals.

    I don't know about long term effects, but I am hoping that they include providing my body with the nurtrients it needs.
     
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  9. Bansaw

    Bansaw Senior Member

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    Thanks
    for that R. I wonder if the HCL/Pepsin supplements replenish the stomach acid level to a point where you don't have to take HCL anymore, or would you have to keep taking HCL indefinitely? Ie: is there a point when the acid rises to the right level and you stop.
     
  10. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I didn't get to the point I could stop the HCL/ Betaine
     
  11. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    Bansaw, It only raises the acidity for an an hour or so.

    To make the stomach acidic you need to have a lot of things working properly. For us the problem is probably ATP. In some of Richvank's stuff (I think it was in those norwegian videos) he made the point that producing acid in the stomach requires lots of and lots of ATP.

    But if you look at the wikipedia article on gastric acid https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastric_acid it soon becomes clear that you need lots and lots of things to work. Which is good as these things that probably depend on the body having access to good nutrition, which will be improved by getting the pH right so you may find that your dose goes down.

    On the other hand when I went looking for info on this I found this article http://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/gastric-balance-heartburn-caused-excess-acid/ which suggests that low acid becomes more and more common from about 30 onwards So maybe it is something we should be taking long term.
     
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  12. Bansaw

    Bansaw Senior Member

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    Thanks, I might try a low stomach acid test such as the baking soda burp test. Or if my insurance covers it, the Heidleberg test.
     
  13. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    I think you're right about RichVank's take on it, and in that regard, the HCL supps out there are mainly (if not exclusively) made from betaine, to which chloride is added. And betaine is also known as trimethylglycine, which affects methylation pathways, so the more betaine HCL one takes, the more one is messing around with methylation without realizing it.

    Which is precisely what I've been doing for about 15 years, and really, like @ukxmrv implied, the HCL supplementation never resolved the low-acid situation, so I'm trying to re-evaluated things and find a more direct way of perhaps stimulating HCL secretion. Difficult, because as you say, it requires ATP, etc., and in order to increase ATP, one needs niacin or niacinamide, but that can cause high histamine issues (or contribute to histamine intolerance problems), so personally, I'm going to try 'Swedish bitters' and see how that goes…

    ???
     
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  14. Bansaw

    Bansaw Senior Member

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    Thanks. Do you feel like it helped digestion in any way? I theorise that I am simply not getting enough vitamins, minerals and Amino acids from my food. I did a mineral hair test 2 months ago and I am way low. I am supplemenitng now with iconic liquid minerals, Selenium, Iron, Molybdenum, Zinc, Copper etc.
    I am sure if I help my digestion I will be able to assimilate more of these crucial elements I need.
     
  15. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    Hi, I take HCL daily. It's a fairly low dose pill that I break up due to need. You learn quickly how much a meal requires. It does me a world of good because digestion is way better and bile responds to stomach acidity. Bile is a big waste remover for the body.

    Since the level of stomach acid is dictated by cortisol levels I think I don't need it as much when cortisol levels are good. Mind, the higher the cortisol, the less acid the stomach is. Thusly: when relaxed digestion is good. When stressed I need more HCL.

    I also use natural acidifiers such as lemon juice or diluted vinegar. Nausea after eating is a sure invitation to try some acifidier. If it helps you know it's because stomach acid was not acid enough.

    Always take these things with water. The acid attacks your tooth enamel and you want the pill to go to your stomach right away.
     
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  16. Bansaw

    Bansaw Senior Member

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    Thanks, I gargle with water, then a little milk. I think that sets the mouth ph back ok (?)
     
  17. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    Bansaw,

    Bicarbonate of soda (NaHCO3) would be the way to go. Just take a quarter teaspoon or so and a sip of water swish it round for bit (maybe 10 seconds) and then spit it out before eating. Some people also do this after consuming acidic foods or drinks.
     
  18. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    Might be, I don't take milk, it raises my blood sugar too much.

    Yeah... I'm sugar sensitive. Even just brushing my teeth gives me a sugar rush from the sorbitol etc. in tooth paste. Prevents me from falling asleep. Weird! I use Paradontax, without sweetners or fluoride.

    But let's talk about the other end of the spectrum: good stomach acid will activate the bile and this you can note in your stools. The darker they are, the more bile was excreted. And the better digestion in the stomach and small intestine was.
     
  19. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    I went to my GP asking for this, when I had just fallen ill with ME and he didn't know where to start because numerous major systems had broken down instead of just one.

    I knew nothing except that my stools were grey and floating = no bile. So I asked for stomach acidifier. This sparked some old knowledge in my doctor.
    In the last century people used a common tonic called Julapium. This is diluted Hydrochloric acid (5% I think. Or was it 0,5%? Quite a difference! One of these. I'd say 5% because that's what stomach acid is. And this was HCL by prescription only.) with a bit of rosewater and sugar in it. It was as common as the sniffles.

    The father of our compounding pharmacy still knew how to make it and I was given a bottle. One spoon with every meal.
    Worked like a charm and was my first triumph in getting this illness around. Once stomach acid was helped with this Julapium my digestion and nutrition came back up. Stools started looking good. It really is one of the pillars of my health and I now know aiding the stomach acid was a common practise up untill the 1970s.

    I've switched to HCL pills because the Julapium was awfully sweet and the pharmacy was fussy about making it to my preferences. They are tiresome anyway and hcl pills I can order online.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
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  20. Bansaw

    Bansaw Senior Member

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    THanks Richard. Do you mean "after eating"? Why do you swish before eating?
     

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