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Betaine hydrochloride ( HCI )
( Hydrochloric acid )

The process of human digestion occurs along the entire alimentary canal, it can be said to have begun as soon as the food passes through the mouth, continuing along the alimentary canal and into the stomach, the small intestine, and lastly the large intestine with the resultant expulsion of the feces. The most vital organ for the process of human digestion is the stomach and the most important phase of digestion takes place in the stomach, in the stomach, the gastric acids helps the body break down proteins into smaller sub-units which are routed and passed along for further digestion in the small intestine -where they are also absorbed.

The amount of gastric acids and juices secreted in the stomach has a great bearing on the risks and severity of certain bacterial and parasitic intestinal infections of the gastric tract, low levels of gastric secretion inevitably translates into a greater danger and incidence of illness or disorders caused by pathogenic or parasitic organisms. The gastric acid secreted by a normal stomach is quite sufficient to destroy bacteria in the stomach and the intestines. This was proved during one study, which measured the normal gastric acid secretion in the stomach of fasting test subjects, all of them had virtually no bacteria in the small intestines due to the elimination of bacteria by the acid. In those individuals who had a low secretion of the hydrochloric acid, there was some bacterial colonization of the stomach as the amount of gastric acid was insufficient to kill all the bacteria.

The gastric juice

The parietal cells in the stomach secrete gastric acid, which is essentially hydrochloric acid - HCI. In normal stomachs, the acidity of the gastric juice is very strong with a very low acidic pH. As a mater of fact, the gastric juices secreted in the stomach of a normal person can be between 100,000 and almost 1,000,000 times more acidic than normal water when measured on a pH scale.

Deficiencies and susceptibility

There is some evidence form clinical research that some people, who suffer from varied type of chronic conditions, including common ailments such as different forms of allergies, chronic asthma, and gallstones, may not be secreting sufficient amounts of gastric acid in their stomachs.

Uses

Betaine hydrochloride (HCL) has several vital roles in our body, especially breaking down proteins and fats in our stomach. In fact, it is a constituent that is essential for digesting food, especially for assimilating vitamin B12, iron and calcium by our body. A deficit of B12 may result in muscle debility and also weariness, besides causing additional problems related to the nervous system. In addition, sufficient amount of stomach acids are also necessary for the body to be able to absorb proteins. In fact, if our body is unable to assimilate sufficient nutrients, it may result in several potentially severe health disorders and sometimes may even aggravate the existing problems.

In addition, internal use of betaine hydrochloride may prove to be an effective treatment for a number of problems related to the respiratory system, including asthma, hay fever, seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis. Besides, betaine hydrochloride may also be taken internally for curing allergies attributable to foods as well as hives. In case you are suffering from asthma or any allergy, it is possible that the production and release of your stomach acid would not be sufficient and, in such circumstances, you will find using betaine hydrochloride beneficial. Usually, allergies increase when deficiency of stomach protein does not help the body in disintegrating proteins appropriately prior to their assimilation. However, it is advisable that you should always consult your physician prior to taking betaine hydrochloride for treating asthma or allergic reactions.

Betaine hydrochloride may possibly be effective for curing several conditions related to the stomach, such as indigestion, gastroespophageal reflux disease (also called GERD), ulcers and gallstones. Enhancing the levels of stomach acid may help to support digestion better. According to findings of a study by scientists at the University of Michigan Health System, even people who are suffering from gallstones seem to have insufficient amount of stomach acids. In addition, inadequate amounts of stomach acid may result in conditions like stomach ulcers, and even heartburn. Therefore, if you have low levels of stomach acid it is advisable that you take betaine hydrochloride, as it may help to put off the development of these conditions.

All the same, betaine hydrochloride is therapeutically used to treat digestive disorders and the suggested dose of this remedy for this purpose is taking anything between 325 mg and 650 mg together with all meals. However, before you start using betaine hydrochloride for curing problems related to the stomach, it is advisable that you check with your physician regarding the most suitable dosage for your condition. Similarly, if you plan to take betaine hydrochloride to treat acid reflux or stomach ulcers, you need to remember that taking this supplement in excessive amounts may possibly burn or destroy the stomach lining. What is worse is that in case you take betaine hydrochloride in conjunction with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), it may actually increase the risk of having stomach ulcers.

As it is hypothetically believed that low levels of stomach acids may result in allergies as well as other health disorders, it is also believed that when you take betaine hydrochloride, it may assist in treating rheumatoid arthritis too. Provided you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it is also possible that you will have low levels of stomach acids. However, it is really unfortunate that thus far there is no scientific proof to corroborate that taking betaine hydrochloride is really effective for treating arthritis.

Betaine hydrochloride is also considered to be effective for treating other conditions, such as persistent yeast infections. People suffering from this condition are said to find betaine hydrochloride beneficial, as this supplement impedes the growth of yeasts. Hence, it is assumed that low levels of stomach acid may result in the rapid growth of yeasts in the gastrointestinal tract. Depending on such hypothesis, you may try taking betaine hydrochloride with a view to restrain persistent candidiasis by means of enhancing secretions of hydrochloric acid. Nevertheless, prior to using betaine hydrochloride supplement you need to consult with your physician or any competent and qualified healthcare provider regarding the effectiveness as well as safety of using this product for treating recurring yeast infections.

In fact, people who have been having a poor diet or suffering from common stress or long periods of dehydration will find this substance to be a very potent digestive aid. Betaine hydrochloride has also been found to stimulate digestion in women during their pre-menopausal stage as well as in aged people.

It has also been found that betaine hydrochloride is effective for treating hypochlorhydria - a condition wherein there is very less production of stomach acid. In addition, betaine hydrochloride is also a vital substance that helps in putting off elevated levels of homocysteine, a health condition that is known to be associated with serious heart disease.

Moreover, with the aging process catching up, it is natural for our body to produce lesser amount of digestive enzymes. As a result of the decrease in enzyme production as well as activity, the production and levels of betaine hydrochloride also decline. Subject to different people, this may result in very slow digestion and lead to poor assimilation of nutrients and minerals by the body.

When this occurs, it also denotes that our body is unable to detoxify or cleanse itself to the best of possibilities. Normally, our body gets rid of certain waste products and toxic substances, but when the levels of betaine hydrochloride as well as enzyme production decrease, these substances remain within the body. This, in turn, results in the accumulation of toxic substances within the body as well as the kind of inflammation that is associated with chronic disease.

Several individuals who have been enduring poor digestion have been benefitted by taking the vegetarian variety of betaine hydrochloride derived from plants prior to meals, as it has helped to support their individual digestive process and, at the same time metabolize the ingested food. Betaine hydrochloride is effective, because this supplement aids in enhancing one’s health in general. This compound or supplement also possesses potent antioxidant attributes that are useful for preventing as well as treating various cardiovascular ailments, such as heart attack and atherosclerosis.

Inside our body, betaine hydrochloride acts together with a substance called taurine, which is an essential amino acid that helps in reducing hypertension (high blood pressure) and, simultaneously makes sure that the body’s metabolic process works efficiently and optimally. The combination of betaine hydrochloride and taurine aids in enhancing the immune system functioning, strengthening it to fight against ailments and viral infections in the most effective manner.

People suffering from stomach-related problems, such as gastritis, indigestion, gastrointestinal disorders (including heartburns) and even ulcers may find taking betaine hydrochloride beneficial for their conditions. However, it is essential that they consult their physician prior to using supplements containing betaine hydrochloride for treating any of the above mentioned conditions.

Other medical uses

Usual dosage

The most common hydrochloric acid containing supplement in the human body is the substance known as betaine hydrochloride or HCI. When used in the form of supplements, this compound is usually sold in the form of tablets or capsules that can be measured in terms of grains or milligrams-mgs. Betaine HCI should only be used by individuals who are suffering from reduced levels of the gastric or stomach acids, in a condition known as "hypochlorhydria"- a type of disorder that can be easily diagnosed by a nutritionally oriented professional doctor or dietician. Most nutritionally oriented doctors, when correctly diagnosed, will usually recommend the patient use one or more tablets or capsules of the supplement, each one of which is about 5 - 10 grains - 325 mg - 650 mg, taken along with a protein rich meal on a regular basis. Supplements of the betaine may also occasionally be recommended to patient to help reduce the blood levels of a substance known as homocysteine, which is often connected to heart disease in humans. The chemical nature of this form of betaine is not similar to the betaine HCI supplement normally used in other cases.

Side effects and cautions

The gastric lining of the stomach can be burned if the amount of betaine is greater than normal. The consumption of betaine HCI must be discontinued at once, if the burning sensation is experienced at any time during the supplemental process. Unless used under the recommendation and supervision of a nutritionally oriented physician, most people using the supplements must not take more than 10 grains or 650 mg equivalent of betaine HCI at any one time, as such amounts can be harmful to them. A nutritionally oriented doctor, must be consulted by all persons who have a history of ulcers, of chronic gastritis, or gastrointestinal symptoms - especially heartburn, before they begin any supplemental regimen using the betaine HCI. Betaine HCI supplements must also be avoided by all individuals who are already using any form of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications called NSAIDs, any cortisone like medications, or any type of medications likely to cause a peptic ulcer. The consumption of supplemental betaine HCI may actually help the absorption of some minerals and other nutrients in the stomach.

Comments

From Modgod - Feb-19-2011
Betaine hydrochloride acid shouldn't be taken if you've got a hiatus hernia.
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