Our stomach is loaded with acid. The acid serves two main purposes: to kill pathogens and to enhance digestion of food.
We learned this in medical school, but somewhere along the line, stomach acid became a villain that we needed to stop. We learned about drugs that would inhibit stomach acid production with names like Prilosec, Zantac, and Tagamet. And we started to prescribe them like crazy, propelling them to the best-selling drugs in the world.
And the damage has been catastrophic. You name the disease, and diminished stomach acid is a contributing factor. In this post, I am talking about heart disease.
Nitric oxide (NO) is 1 atom of nitrogen connected to 1 atom of oxygen. This compound floats around the body working its magic. NO opens up blood vessels, lowers inflammation, and naturally thins the blood. NO is CRITICAL for heart health.
And stomach acid makes nitric oxide. It does so by converting food sources of nitrite (NO2) into NO. No stomach acid, no NO. Big problem.
Stomach acid also helps digest protein so we can absorb amino acids. We need these amino acids as another way to make NO, thru arginine and citrulline.
Many factors here. Acid blockers are the obvious ones. Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid is also another contributing factor. We need thyroid hormone to make stomach acid. In fact, just the aging process leads to hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid).
Make sure your thyroid is in good shape, so make sure you get tested. For thyroid support, check out our Thyrokick supplement.
Once your thyroid is back, the acid blockers have to go. Make sure you speak with your doctor first. Then, products like apple cider vinegar and lemon appear to stimulate acid and improve digestion.
Quite frankly, organic Paleo foods, sunshine, sleep, and lowering stress are necessary steps in stomach acid production. These are the basics and again, are necessary.
Digestive products containing betaine HCL and enzymes are well known in the natural health world for their efficacy. Just about all of our patients over 45 take our Digest. I created it with all the necessary components you need to digest your food, make nitric oxide, and live healthy and happy.
We suggest 2-3 caps of Digest in the middle of each meal. Keep a bottle on the kitchen table so you never forget. If you carry a purse, put a bottle in there as well. And one at the office too.
Let me know what you think.
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