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Real Life Wellness-Stomach Acid is Your Friend!

By Dr. Bill Hemmer
This subject is one of my favorite things to talk about because strong Stomach acid is the most important thing within your digestive system to keep you healthy. Sadly, it has been under attack for the last three decades. Simply put, if you don’t have enough Stomach acid, your ability to break apart food and have a strong immune system is severely compromised.

I know this is the exact opposite of what we’ve been taught over the last three decades, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Allow me to explain why. First, you need strong Stomach acid to begin the breakdown of proteins and fats. A low Stomach pH (optimal Stomach pH is between 2 and 2.5) is necessary to activate your enzyme activity. This low pH is also necessary for you to break down and absorb minerals.

If your pH is too high (above 3) you can’t digest proteins, fats, or minerals effectively. This lack of proper digestion leads to symptoms like bloating, Heartburn, foul smelling gas, bad breath, and lack of energy after you eat. When you don’t break down minerals effectively, symptoms like muscle cramping and decreased bone density can also occur.

So, what about heartburn or GERD? The commercials say we have too much acid and that’s what leads to these problems, how do I explain that?

If you don’t have enough Stomach acid, your food stays inside your stomach longer than it normally would. Your body slows down this process of moving your food into your small intestine attempting to try to perform the normal amount of digestive function in your stomach. But this leads to your food starting to rot inside your stomach! The acid you reflux isn’t your Stomach acid, it’s the acid produced by your undigested food rotting!

Sounds gross, doesn’t it? 

Yep…because it is! The antacids and acid stopping medications do stop acid reflux from occurring, by decreasing the amount of acid, but it also can cause all the long-term problems I described earlier. 

Also, when you have enough Stomach acid, the valve on the top of your Stomach closes properly and doesn’t allow acid to back up into your esophagus and cause the heartburn. Strong Stomach acid also allows the valve at the lower part of your stomach to open correctly so your digested foods continue its travels into your small intestine to be broken down further and be absorbed properly.

The last and most important benefit of having a strong acid content in your stomach is it kills viruses, bacteria and parasites found in the food we eat. Most invaders die in the presence of strong acid. Food you consume every day contains invaders. Strong acid concentrations in your stomach are your Immune System’s first line of defense against these nasty buggers.

So, try the apple cider vinegar, if you dare, to see what extra stomach acid will do for you. Next week, I will continue to follow your food down the river of the Digestive system by going through a valve at the bottom of the stomach and arrive at the Small Intestine.

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