The Way to BE

Low Stomach Acid: The Risks, the Symptoms, and the Solutions

The multi-billion dollar antacid industry has you believing that stomach acid is bad for you.

As you age, your stomach acid tends to decrease.

Digestive enzymes

Assist Dairy and Protein supports your digestion with plenty of HCL, which your stomach desperately needs in order to properly break down foods and assimilate nutrients.

While you may use antacids for heartburn relief or indigestion, they are not a cure for what causes these problems in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, indigestion is usually caused by low stomach acid — also called hypochlorhydria — and it affects up to half of our population.1

Treatment that further neutralizes stomach acid can make your digestion worse.

Why Stomach Acid is Good For You

Stomach acid or hydrochloric acid (HCl), is a very powerful digestive agent, and much more important than you realize.

HCl's important functions include:

  • Breaking down proteins into the essential amino acids and nutrients your body needs in order to stay healthy.
  • Stimulating your pancreas and small intestines to produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary to further breakdown the carbohydrates, proteins and fats you eat.
  • Preventing disease by killing pathogenic bacteria and yeast normally present in food.

As you age, your stomach acid tends to decrease anyway. Add a poor diet of processed foods and you may find that you have both digestive and immune problems.

Is living a healthy life free from pain, infection, and disease possible? Get started with BE 101.

Low Stomach Acid: A Vicious Cycle

There are two main consequences of low stomach acid:

  1. You become protein malnourished. When your stomach acid is low, you are not able to digest protein.
    • Improper digestion of protein creates toxins in your intestines that can set the stage for illness and disease.
    • Improper digestion of protein also creates acidic blood, since protein is by nature acidic.
  2. You become mineral deficient. As your blood becomes more acidic, it will look for minerals from anywhere in your body, in order to get your blood to its more ideal alkaline state. Acidic blood robs your body of minerals, even taking minerals from your bones (which is important to know if you want to prevent osteoporosis).

Low stomach acid eventually creates a vicious cycle: low stomach acid = low minerals = acidic blood. This cycle continues because acidic blood further creates low minerals and low stomach acid.

Once this vicious cycle has started, there is a cascade of consequences:

  • You could eat plenty of protein and still be protein malnourished. This raises cortisol levels (stress or death hormone), thereby raising your blood glucose (blood sugar levels). Elevated cortisol adversely affects your behavior and temperment.
  • Eventually, your adrenals become depleted (adrenal fatigue), and DHEA, the youth hormone, is suppressed, leading to premature aging.

Low DHEA and high cortisol affect your brain and behavior, but that's not all. The vicious cycle of low stomach acid affects your inner ecosystem too. Low stomach acid can lead to more bad guys (pathogenic bacteria, candida and viruses) than good guys (healthy microflora), thus lowering your immunity.

What you eat can equip your body for healing. Learn more about The Body Ecology Diet.

Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid

Here are some of the common symptoms and disorders caused by low stomach acid:1,3

  • Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
  • Heartburn (often thought to be caused by too much stomach acid)
  • Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Undigested food in stools
  • Acne
  • Rectal itching
  • Chronic Candida
  • Hair loss in women
  • Multiple food allergies
  • Iron deficiency
  • Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Various autoimmune diseases

If you're sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, The Body Ecology Antiviral Protocol has answers.

Increase Your Stomach Acid, Heal Your Digestion

Here are the 3 key ways to increase your stomach acid:

  1. Reduce or eliminate sugar. Replace mineral-depleting sugar and sweeteners with Stevia.
  2. Add fermented foods and drinks to your diet. Fermented foods and drinks keep you looking and feeling healthy from the inside out. Some of our favorite fermented foods and drinks are:
    • Cultured vegetables - A delicious, vitamin, mineral and probiotic-rich, raw, fermented food.
    • Young coconut kefir - Full of minerals and probiotics, this is a fermented drink you can easily make at home.
    • Super Spirulina Plus - Thought of as one of the "world's healthiest foods," the fermented spirulina in Super Spirulina Plus is a perfect protein and an almost immediate energizer anyone suffering with adrenal fatigue.
  3. Eliminate processed foods. Follow the 7 healthy eating principles of the Body Ecology Program. Taking digestive enzymes at each meal, like Assist SI or Assist Dairy and Protein specifically designed to help you digest proteins from all animal and vegetable sources, can make digestion much easier.

As you eat a healthy Body Ecology Diet, you will find your digestion improving. You may notice that you experience heartburn relief, less indigestion and improved energy. Or perhaps, if you have had long-standing digestive problems, your journey to health may take a bit longer. Be patient as you go step by step towards true health.

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Did you know that indigestion could be caused by low stomach acid, which affects over 50 percent of the population?

Using over-the-counter antacids can neutralize stomach acid and actually make your digestion worse, leaving you at risk for malnutrition and mineral deficiencies. The key to improving your digestion is in increasing your stomach acid by reducing sugar in your diet (using zero-calorie natural sweeteners instead), eating healthy fermented foods and beverages (plus an energizing fermented green drink like Super Spirulina Plus), and cutting out processed foods. When you couple that with Body Ecology’s digestive enzymes, you'll be able to kick indigestion to the curb and finally have the health and energy you have been hoping for!


  1. Saltzman JR, Kemp JA, Golner BB, et al. Effect of hypochlorhydria due to omeprazole treatment or atrophic gastritis on protein bound vitamin B12 absorption. J Amer Coll Nutr 1994;13:584-591.
  2. Bajaj JS, Khardori R, Deo MG, Bansal DD. Adrenocortical function in experimental protein malnutrition. Metabolism. 1979 May;28(5):594-8.
  3. Kennedy M.D., Ron. "Hypochlorhydria." Doctor's Medical Library.

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  • DMR

    I've got the bloating (and burping up meals the next day ew) but it seems to have started out with shortness of breath. Like the food is just sitting there, more and more piling on top but not digesting, and it's pushing up on my lungs. I'm now taking digestive enzymes, which seem to help, and magnesium water and potassium. Potassium is important for digestion and I think I tanked mine by drinking too much coffee over the last months. Going to try kefir for beneficial bacteria since my last sauerkraut batch seems to have died on me.

  • Michael Redford

    I've had painful acid reflux symptoms problem over 4 years. I tried everything, of course I went to the DR. about a hundred times, probably not that many, but it sure seems like it. It never did any good for long and caused all kinds of other issues having to do with taking too many antibiotics. It wasn't until I stumbled upon this natural remedy I found here ( ), that my life changed completely. I'm feeling so much better now and all of my symptoms are totally gone. I had a big problem with heartburn. I'm happy to say that is no longer MY problem. As far as I'm concerned, I am totally cured and it only took about 48 hours from start to finish.

  • Toobusy

    Does anyone experience burning skin and/or burning mouth with low stomach acid? When I have heartburn (almost daily lately), my skin all over burns like a sunburn but it's normal looking. I have heat rising from my stomach, up into my throat and my mouth and lips burn. I can wake up fine and just drinking water will start it up. Sometimes, not even eating starts it up.

    I know I get reactions from spicy and acidic foods as well but the water and not eating reaction confuses me.

  • Elite Mangudai

    you're talking about the breakdown of protein with the help of hydrochloric acid. yet you don't distinguish between meat protein (which is the only source of protein that is digested with hcl in the stomach) and other sources of protein like milk, whey, plant based proteins which are digested in the small someone could start taking betaine hcl pills with the latter and get problems. please revise your article. it is misleading for many folks.

  • Fajar Optimasi

    “Well, So What ?, We don’t need gastric acid anyway because
    millions of people are on gastric acid blocking drugs handed out freely
    by the medical profession”. <a href="" rel="nofollow">Obat herbal pembengkakan pada anus</a>

  • Balada seorang kelana

    disease stomach acid is very dangerous if not immediately treated? <a href="" rel="nofollow">obat asam lambung</a>

  • Kim

    I've had Grave's Disease for 14 years. I take Methamazole. I'm also taking Dexilant which makes me not produce acid (started way after Grave's). I would have a severe Asthma attack from the acid coming up in my throat in the middle of the night and land in the ER :-( So reduce acid even though I have high acid? My Dad is refluxing and has had to have a stricture stretched. I have too. Also, with Grave's you are supposed to avoid iodine. When I eat shrimp, Lobster etc I can feel my heart rate raise. So take Iodine to cure the Grave's? I'd love it if it worked. Thanks for any help! Kim



  • http://yahoo bright boateng

    Thank you but am in Africa. Am really suffering from indigestion. How may I get these drugs?

  • shanna

    Thank you very much for this wonderful information. i know God loves me beyond my comprehension. This is exactly what I need. I am so blessed. My prayers are always answered. Thank you and thank God!

  • Phil

    Great article. If I may add: supplements are not needed and are fractured. Turn to whole foods and ferments. One brilliant fermeng you forgot was beer and wine (good quality organic). too many in the health movement are neglecting what our long lived ancestors considered medicinal. As for iodine, get it from mushrooms not pills. The problem with tryinb to pinpoint health issues down to singular mineral deficiences is that you're assuming the other 10,000 phytonutrients have nothing to do with the absorbtion. Isolated vitamins are useless. Get your nutrition from raw wholefoods. Up your intake of good quality sea salt, drink more water and get into the sun more. you can't get calcium from a pill. Salt ionizes into all tye minerals when sunlight and water mix with it, just like on the ocean floor (calcium everywhere).

  • na

    Iodine deficiency can cause low stomach acid [food rots instead of digesting, intestine does not absorb nutrients but instead toxins from decomposing food, liver gets over-worked and no longer metabolizes B vitamin, body start to die off as malnourishment wreaks havoc, chronic fatigue and weak stamina are classic symptoms, cancer often takes over, especially colon and intestinal as low acidity causes constipation. Fluoride and Bromine inhibit iodine absorption in the Thyroid; fluoride causes hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, and thyroid cancer. People go to a doctor who diagnoses them with thyroid cancer, and tell them that they have to remove half of it [they can't remove the whole thing as your body needs it to regulate over a trillion cells.]

    2 Billion people in the world [about the size of the U.S. population], reportedly, are iodine deficient. So they turn to digestive enzymes and HCL to supplement stomach acid, all the while iodine deficiency is one of the major root causes of low stomach acid. And the Environmental Protection Agency, which bans the dumping fluoride into the environment and classifies the toxic waste as an environmental pollutant, RECOMMENDS administering 1200 parts per billion of it into America's drinking water supply, socially sanitizing toxic waste pollution in the name of cavity prevention, which is a lie, it actually weakens the enamel of your teeth, causing pitting and staining [‘Dental Fluorosis’]. They endorse dumping the neurotoxin into your family’s drinking water, while the CDC warns those who handle the fluoride 'not to take internally.' Meanwhile doctors say it is now typical for people in their 30's to become deficient in their stomach acid, while patients are being prescribed 5-7 antacids daily to treat what they believe is heart-burn, when instead it is methane gas from undigested rotting food. The antacids only neutralize what little acid they have, making the problem worse, with more heart-burn symptoms, bloating, gas, and rotten breath, and worse, the well-fed person slowly starves from malabsorption and malnutrituion.

    I take a daily multi-vitamin, purchased Iodized Salt
    [threw out my old shaker], also Iodized supplements can be taken. In addition I threw out all bleached flour and bread made with bleached flour. I only buy bread that is made with unbleached flour.

    Also, I ADVISE using Reverse Osmosis to filter Fluoride and Bleach out of your family's drinking water, and may GOD Bless you and your family richly and warmly, in Jesus' Holy Name.

    “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2

    Iodine shown to remove toxins from the body such as bromine [bleach] and fluoride [toxic waste]

    In Japan, the average ingestion is roud 13 mg daily from their diet high in kelp/sea-weed [13,000 mcg vs the FDA 150 mcg] and they have no ill side effects.

    Iodine has been removed almost entirely from our diet [you can specificaly purchase Iodized salt, and you may receive up to 150 mcg's from a daily vitamin, but we may only absorb 25% of the daily vitamin, although it claims to give the public 100% of everything.

    You can buy iodine supplem from a health food store. Avoid kelp that comes from Iceland or Norway, because kelp absorbs radiation and you want to be sure the waters from which kelp comes, has not been contaminated. Norwegian sea water contains elevated levels of 226Ra Radiation

    Iodine from Alaskan kelp


    Read the whole article, here's a sample



    By Dr. James Howenstine, MD.

    November 5, 2005

    Lack of iodine is widespread in the United States today. For many years iodine was added to bread in generous quantities which prevented iodine deficiency. Each slice of bread contained 150 mcg. of iodine filling the whole days RDA of iodine In 1960 the average diet consumed about 1 mg. of iodine daily with bakery products accounting for about 75 % of the total. This quantity of iodine was enough to decrease the thyroid glands ability to absorb radioactive iodine and it was also sufficient to prevent excess release of thyroid hormone thus preventing many cases of hyperthyroidism (Grave’s Disease).

    Forty years ago the food industry decided to remove iodine from baked goods and replace the iodine with bromine. Iodine and bromine appear similar to the thyroid gland and bromine easily binds to the thyroid gland’s receptors for iodine. Bromine, however, is of no value to the thyroid gland unlike iodine and it inhibits the activity of iodine in the thyroid gland. Bromine also can cause impaired thinking and memory, drowsiness, dizziness and irritability. This substitution of bromine for iodine has resulted in nearly universal deficiency of iodine in the American populace. Iodine therapy helps the body eliminate fluoride, bromine, lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum and mercury. Could this substitution of bromine for iodine have been carried out to increase diseases and thus create more need for pharmaceutical drugs?

    Among the problems caused by iodine deficiency are:

    • Underactivity of the thyroid gland produces fatigue. In rodents iodine deficiency leads to abnormal pituitary-adrenal function. The adrenal gland provides energy and stamina.

    • When iodine no longer binds to thyroid cell membranes enzymes called peroxidases are able to damage these membranes and produce autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Hyperthroidism (Graves Disease). Researcher Dr. Guy Abraham has observed several cases of thyroiditis and hyperthyroidism that have been corrected by the simple replacement of iodine. For more than 100 years high doses of iodine have been known to benefit both underactivity (hypothyroidism) of the thyroid gland and overactivity of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Iodine therapy allows the sluggish thyroid gland to resume normal production of thyroid hormone leading to resolution of hypothyroidism. Provision of iodine stops the peroxidase injury to the thyroid membranes in hyperthyroidism which permits hyperthyroidism to resolve. Thus thyroid surgery for hyperthyroidism is no longer necessary.

    • Several human organs need iodine but cannot absorb it until blood iodine levels reach high values (stomach, salivary glands). Most persons exhibit impaired production of stomach acid as they age. This impaired capability to produce adequate stomach acid may be a result of iodine deficiency as iodine promotes stomach acidity.

  • Mandip

    1)is there any test to confirm low stomach acid
    2) can low stomach acid victim have a acid reflux

  • mike

    Dear friend; a person who has low hcl may also have candida, which 50% of the population ao have. Fermented drinks and vinigars feed yeast, so carbs, sugars, low stomach acid and you're in for real trouble. Check out diets for Candida. What is one for patoents who also have low stomach acid? May GOD richlky bless you in Christ Jesus [feel free to publish this comment]

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

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