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ratio of betaine hcl : pepsin

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by ebethc, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    I've been having good luck w Betaine HCL w Pepsin and am now trying to optimize... I'm looking for the most effective proportion of betaine to pepsin + best quality product + best price :)

    I'm currently taking Thorne Betaine HCL 1gram + Pepsin 47 mg (serving size = 2 pills)... It's $30 for 225 pills on amazon...

    the Solaray brand is Betaine 650 mg + Pepsin 162 mg (serving size = 1 pill) ... much higher proportion of pepsin, and much lower price than Thorne..

    My question for the PR community: what has been your experience w higher proportions of Pepsin? I don't really understand what pepsin does vs betaine hcl (I get that the overall effect is more stomach acid), so if anyone can explain, I'd love to understand...

    thanks
     
  2. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    Pepsin is a proteolytic enzyme - ie it digests protein. Pepsin in the stomach starts the protein digestion process by breaking proteins into small pieces which are further digested in the small intestine with the help of proteolytic enzymes from the pancreas and dipeptidases on the surface of cells of the brush border.

    Stomach acid is important for several reasons - viz it activates the inactive precursor of pepsin (pepsinogen), it provides the appropriate pH for maximum activity of the enzyme and it denatures proteins, causing them to unfold and so become more susceptible to the action of the enzyme.

    BetaineHCl may contribute to stomach acidity but it is pepsin that does the heavy lifting in terms of digestion.

    Stomach acidity also plays an anti-microbial role independently of digestion.
     
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  3. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    one more question: does betaine/pepsin only help w protein, or does it help w fat digestion, too?

    I'm wondering if I should throw in some lipase, too
     
  4. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    thanks, great explanation... do you know anything about proportions of betaine to pepsin? does betaine/pepsin help w fat digestion, too?
     
  5. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    No sorry.

    No, that happens in the small intestine and relies on lipases from the pancreas.

    There are pancreatic enzyme preparations (often called pancreatin) which can be very helpful for digestion problems. I have had great success with Creon, though of course there are other brands.

    Creon has several unique properties. First it comes in strengths that no others do. This is reflected in the numbers in the name - eg Creon 5,000 up to Creon 40,000. The numbers refer to lipase units. If you look at other preparations they are usually around 5-10,000 lipase units.

    Secondly each capsule contains many tiny, enteric-coated spheres. This allows for efficient mixing with all the gut contents while the enteric coating protects the enzymes from stomach acid until they can act in the small intestine.
     
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  6. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    I've had incredible luck w wobenzym and vascuzyme (2 different products, same formulation: pancreatic enzymes - pancreatin, chymotrypsin, trypsin - plus bromelain, papain and rutin)... I don't really understand how low stomach acid is linked, or if it is the root problem, but I would like to know... Betaine/Pepsin and Wobenzym/Vascuzyme combined have done more for me than any doctor, and I stumbled on both myself..

    I'm not sure if I need additional lipase, but I take Wobie away from meals; it's really a systemic enzyme that helps a lot w joint pain, fatigue and sinus problems

    Creon is by rx only here in the states and is very expensive, even w insurance... Some skip it and take the OTC supplements like the ones I take (based on Amazon reviews that I've read)
     
  7. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    one other question: some of the formulations similar to Creon/Wobenzym/Vascuzyme also have SOD (superoxide dismutase) and Catalase.... Do you know why this is?

    In addition to trying standalone Lipase w meals, I may try the enzymes w SOD/Catalase (Biotics brand).. Need to find the benefit and reason it's included first..

    thanks
     
  8. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    No, apart from all of them being enzymes, SOD and catalase have very different functions and act within cells, not in the digestive tract.

    Is there any evidence that SOD and catalase survive the acidity of the stomach, are not digested in the small intestine, are taken up intact from the intestine and are carried into cells, including into the mitochondrion? If not then it seems like a pretty useless kind of supplement.
     
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  9. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    some brands have enteric coating on spheres within the capsule... this (supposedly) ensures that the supp is carried to the small intestine (bypassing stomach acidity) and it's released in the sm intestine


    I'm investigating... I don't know if this is baloney or not... I'm still trying to understand why it's included w proteolytic enzymes...how does it complement proteolytic enzymes? why is catalase included, too???

    I have some SOD snp's and tried some zinc & manganese to raise SOD and felt some benefit, but zinc is good for me all around... dunno if it has anything to do w SOD or not
     
  10. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    I can't say anything proportions but since you mentioned prices, you might be interested in Vitacost betaine HCL with pepsin at $15.00 for 250 capsules. They contain 650mg betaine HCL and 162mg pepsin. I've been using them for years without any problems. I've tried other brands and haven't noticed any difference. A couple of times they've had a deal where you buy one and get the second at 50% off.

    I also use Swanson because they're half the strength of the Vitacost (325mg betaine HCL and 82mg pepsin.) They're $10.00 for 250 capsules. They're useful for lower protein meals where I don't need full strength capsules, or for meals where a full extra capsule would be too much but a 1/2 strength capsule is just right.
     
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  11. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    @PatJ ... thanks... I just ordered Solaray which is cheaper and has 3x more pepsin than I've been taking (similar to the Vitacost, and similar in price..)... I'm looking forward to experimenting w higher pepsin...

    Have you ever taking lipase, or do you know if Betaine/Pepsin helps w fat digestion? I would think that it does, but I don't know yet..

    I've taken NOW Brand Super Enzymes.. It didn't even work, which is surprising since it has everything in it.... The Betaine/Pepsin + Wobenzym or Vascuzyme away from meals (systemic enzymes for inflammation) have both been fantastic... I'm really fine-tuning now
     
  12. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    Why do you think that?

    Pepsin is a protease - it is specific for the amide linkage between amino acids in proteins. It has no activity against fats.

    A small amount of fat digestion occurs in the mouth via the enzyme lingual lipase and it is thought that this continues in the stomach via the swallowed enzyme. There is also a small amount of another lipase produced in the stomach which acts against a limited type of fat. These lipases are able to act at the low pH of the stomach.

    Most fat digestion, however, occurs in the small intestine under the action of pancreatic lipases which require a higher pH for function. These enzymes are esterases and cleave fatty acids from the glycerol backbone of triglycerides.
     
  13. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    I was thinking that the Betaine HCL (acid) could have some action against fats..If betaine HCL is can break down protein, why not saturated and perhaps vegetable (EVOO, macadamia) fats?

    in that case, would supplementing w lipase even help? ie, if it's supposed to be broken down in the small intestines, then does a lipase capsule even make it intact that far down the GI tract? Or, would it just get broken down in the stomach, and if that's true, is that what you want? I have a tendency to v low vitamin D and it's occurred to me that if if you don't digest fats very well, then this, in turn, would affect fat soluble vitamins in the body (the ability to convert/store them for use metabolically)...
     
  14. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    HCl doesn't breakdown proteins, it denatures them - ie causes them to unfold. This makes them more susceptible to the action of pepsin which is responsible for the breakdown.

    Fats don't have the complex 3-D structure of proteins and the ester bonds between the glycerol backbone and fatty acids are very stable so gastric acid doesn't do much to them. Even if it did the enzymes to digest the fat are predominantly in the small intestine.

    Lipase supplements, usually as part of pancreatic enzyme preparations, can be very helpful. Look for an enteric coated preparation to ensure maximum activity in the small intestine.
     
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  15. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    the pancreatic supplements I take are "systemic enzymes" so I take them away from food, on an empty stomach... They are very effective for pain -- much more so than dozens (literally) of other rx and non-rx so-called remedies I've taken...I suppose that I could take them with meals, too.... They are enteric coated BUT i'm not sure if that means that the entire capsule is enteric-coated OR the microspheres are coated OR both... I'll have to contact customer support for that question.. thanks for the heads up..

    Do you think that lipase can be taken along w Betaine/Pepsin (~10-15 minutes before meals)? Not sure if the B/P would interfere

    BTW - I"m still trying to figure out how the puzzle fits together.... Does low stomach acid CAUSE low enzymes or low pancreatic function? Vice versa? Unknown? This started for me in grade school, so some problem that may be very simple has gotten way out of hand, and now I'm still trying to reverse-engineer it... It's just starting to make some sense w the betaine/pepsin, wobenzym, and a couple other things...Thanks for your insights
     
  16. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    Lecithin might help with fat digestion.
     
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  17. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    For digestive support, the enzymes would need to be taken very close to a meal. I can't see any problem with taking them at the same time as the betaineHCl/pepsin.

    How much you need would be determined by trial and error.

    I don't think there is necessarily a link between low stomach acid and low pancreatic function.

    In my own case I haven't had a problem with low stomach acid but for a long time had almost no pancreatic enzyme production as measured by the elastase marker on CDSA. I needed huge doses of Creon for years.

    Over time though my pancreas did start getting the message and began producing enzymes again. I don't really know why.
     
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  18. ebethc

    ebethc Senior Member

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    that's encouraging.... I hope I don't have to take either Betaine HCL/Pepsin or Wobenzym forever! It's all so staggeringly expensive, between Rx, supps, eating quality food and taking time off work
     

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