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Update on Digestion, Heartburn, Belching, Reflux and the Impact of Aging on Such.

August 16, 2006

Two people I know, one a friend at work, and my brother, have both had rather remarkable changes in this whole heartburn – acid indigestion problem. I had repeatedly tried to explain that the cause was reduced stomach acid production, and the ensuing inability to digest food effectively, particularly protein meals, not excessive stomach acid. I also preached at length about the dangers of using antacids on a regular basis and how it could lead to severe degenerative conditions in many of the body’s organ systems.

In both cases they were finally convinced to try taking a capsule of HCl + Pepsin (made by Solaray in these cases) with every meal and were surprised to find that they could eat anything without digestive problems, as long as they remembered to take it with the meal. You can’t take it too early and you can’t take it too late; it is best taken about half way through the meal. They both found that even big meals clear the stomach in about an hour, comfort is restored quickly after eating too much and they have no gas problems.

Interestingly, the August issue of Dr. Jonathan Wright’s Nutrition and Healing told of four cases of Bursitis in his clinic with four different sets of symptoms that were healed by healing the digestion process. A 63 year-old man with shoulder pain, a 56 year-old woman with chronic fatigue and severe pain in her right hip, a 67 year-old man with a golf-ball sized lump on the point of his elbow, and a 45 year-old woman with serious depression and tenderness above the knee- cap. In every case the symptoms were related to low stomach acid production inhibiting the absorption of vitamin B12, essential amino acids and minerals. In every case the solution was to supplement meals with HCl + Pepsin.

Dr Wright sped up the process by using injections of B12, and using amino acid + mineral IVs in three of the cases, but the long-term maintenance solution was taking HCl with pepsin for life. The big surprise to me was that the woman’s depression was also cause by essential amino acid deficiencies limiting the production of several neurotransmitters in her brain, throwing off the normal balance. When digestion was enhanced, the depression lifted. Virtually everyone experiences reduced stomach acid production with age, and the long- term outcome is some degree of malnutrition that worsens over time. Antacids and proton pump suppressors will dramatically speed up this process. They may quell the discomfort in the short term, and may even ‘heal the damage’, but long-term use will create problems that the medical community will deny result from their use.

I advocate a three-pronged approach. First, use as much raw food in your diet as practical to obtain digestive enzymes available in all raw foods, then add digestive enzymes to all meals. Life Extension Mix (which I use with every meal) has a digestive enzyme complex as part of the formulation. Second, take a wide-spectrum probiotic formula periodically to promote a healthy bacterial population in the gut. And third, take HCl + Pepsin with every meal. I don’t use it for snacks, because my snacks are nearly always raw vegetables, fruit or nuts, which I digest easily.

Good Living – Frank

Frank Wilhelmi
Frank Wilhelmi

Frank Wilhelmi – Retired/consultant electronic engineer researches and reports practical strategies for optimizing health and fitness into advanced age. “I have a passion for living life to the fullest, and helping others to do the same.” A rapidly growing body of knowledge now enables us to extend our health and fitness decades beyond popular expectations.

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