From the Desk of Dr. Len
How to Supplement with Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
Dr. Len Lopez – Thursday, May 25, 2017
If you’ve learned that your digestive problems are associated with an insufficient production of HCL – you need to supplement your diet. There are some specific guidelines to follow to ensure you are getting an adequate amount of HCL to breakdown all the protein you are consuming.
First, never take HCL on an empty stomach, or without protein in your meal. Secondly, we are trying to properly dose the amount of HCL you need, so it may take a few days to figure out how much HCL you need to be adding to your protein meal(s). Keep in mind, your digestive system is designed to manufacture HCL, but for whatever reason, you are not producing enough. We don’t know if you are only producing 30% or 70% of HCL needed to breakdown your meal.
Take one capsule/tablet of Betaine Hydrochloride, which usually contains about 600-800 mg at the end of your next large protein meal. At each subsequent meal of about the same size, take one additional capsule. For example, the next meal you will take 2 capsules, etc.
The goal is to continue to increase the dosage, per meal, until you reach or feel that heaviness or feeling of warmth in your stomach or lower sternum. Once you’ve reached this point, you want to reduce the number of capsules you are taking on subsequent meals to avoid that warm, heavy sensation.
If that warm, heavy sensation is uncomfortable, drink 6-16 ounces of water to dilute the concentration of HCL. Again, the reason we want to first reach that heavy sensation, is to identify how much HCL we need, to take at the end of our subsequent meals.
The heaviness or warmth sensation you are feeling indicates that you have supplemented with more HCI than needed to digest that meal. Some may feel that sensation on 1 capsule, others may take 5 capsules to feel that warm sensation. Everyone is different!
Once you have established your dosage (5 capsules or less if warmth or heaviness occurs), continue this dose.
It is common that as your stomach regains the ability to produce an adequate concentration of HCI, you will require less HCI. If over time, you begin to feel that warm feeling again at a lower dose, it is an indication to reduce your dose.
Smaller meals may require less HCI so you may reduce the number of capsule taken.
Depending on the severity of your stomach to produce HCL, it may take a few weeks to months to gradually wean yourself from additional HCL supplementation. It all depends on how well you take care of yourself.
If, at any time, you experience a burning sensation, stop supplementing with HCL.
Do NOT use HCL if you suffer with peptic or gastric ulcers. Also, HCI can irritate and damage sensitive tissue and can be corrosive to teeth; therefore, capsules should not be emptied into food or dissolved in beverages.
I hope that helps, especially for all you who are swallowing protein drinks and shakes.
Lastly, if this doesn’t reduce your digestive problems, you could also be struggling with various food sensitivities to dairy, wheat, corn, soy, msg, coffee, or artificial sweeteners, and may require additional steps in calming down your inflamed digestive system.