Also indexed as:Betaine HCl, Gastric Acid, Hydrochloric Acid, Stomach Acid
How to Use It
Betaine HCl is the most common hydrochloric acid-containing supplement. Normally it comes in tablets or capsules measured in grains or milligrams. Only people who have reduced levels of stomach acid (“hypochlorhydria”) should take betaine HCl; this condition can be diagnosed by a doctor. When appropriate, some doctors recommend taking one or more tablets or capsules, each 5–10 grains (325–650 mg), with a meal that contains protein. Occasionally, betaine (trimethylglycine) is recommended to reduce blood levels of a substance called homocysteine, which is associated with heart disease. This form of betaine is different from betaine HCl.
Where to Find It
Gastric acid is produced by the parietal cells of the stomach. The acidity is quite strong in a normal stomach. In fact, the stomach can be between 100,000 and almost 1,000,000 times more acidic than water.
Some research suggests that people with a wide variety of chronic disorders, such as allergies,30asthma,31 and gallstones,32 do not produce adequate amounts of stomach acid.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.