Eat beets. If they turn your urine pink/red, then you have low stomach acid. Stomach acid is a very important first step in digestion. Without enough, you can't absorb B12, and you have trouble absorbing zinc as well as several other nutrients. If you don't have adequate stomach acid, proteins aren't broken down properly, and so they can cause trouble in the small intestine and/or get absorbed whole into the bloodstream.

Gluten and casein are famous for being addictive because they form opiod-like substances. Stomach acid is necessary to prevent them from becoming opiods.

Histamine helps trigger the release of stomach acid. Histamine is found in several foods, especially ferments, so pile on another reason to eat ferments with every meal. Adequate zinc is also necessary to produce stomach acid (remember what's not absorbed well without it?).


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If one system (digesting proteins with HCl in the stomach) doesn't work, then the next system addresses the problem, if it is functioning. If the HCl is present with zinc and B1 and B6, then the proteins are digested!!


If you don't have enough HCl, easy to address!

Quote from 'Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride.

People with abnormal gut flora almost without exception have low stomach acid production. Toxins produced by overgrowth of Candida species, Clostridia and other pathogens have a strong ability to reduce secretion of stomach acid.

What does it mean and why is it important?

The stomach is the place where protein digestion begins. Hydrochloric acid produced by the stomach walls activates pepsin, a protein-digesting enzyme, which starts breaking down the very complex structure of dietary proteins into peptides and amino acids. To do its work properly pepsin needs the pH of the stomach to be 3 or below. In Hypochlorhydria not enough acid is produced, so the pH in the stomach is not low enough for pepsin to do its job properly."

"As a result of low stomach acid production the whole process of protein digestion in the body goes wrong from the very beginning. The maldigested protein then passes through to the small intestine. The intestinal wall and pancreatic enzymes, which accomplish further steps in the protein digestion, expect the protein to arrive from the stomach in a particular form in order to do their job properly. It is like a conveyer belt or an assembly line in a factory. If the first person does a poor job, then no matter how well the rest of the people in the line may work, the end product is likely to be of a poor quality. However, what happens in the body is even worse. The problem is that in the body 'the rest of the line' cannot work properly either, because it is regulated by the first person. This first person is the stomach acid."

A lack of stomach acid raises further and more serious implications. It is a barrier against harmful microbes from anything we put in our mouth. Without that protection, those pathogens can get through to the intestines and set up home. Once they are in there they can trigger symptoms in any part of the body. As Natasha continues...

Normally the stomach is the least populated area of the digestive system due to its extremely acid environment. However, in a person with Hypochlorhydria all sorts of pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria and fungi can grow on the stomach wall, such as Helicobacter Pylori, Campylobacter pylori, Enterobacteria, Candida, Salmonella, E.Coli, Streptococci, etc. The most research in this area has been done in stomach cancer patients, the majority of which show low levels of stomach acid production. Microbes, which populate low acid stomach play a very important role in causing stomach cancer, ulcers and gastritis.

Of course, most of these microbes love to eat carbohydrates, particularly the processed kind. The digestion of carbohydrates starts in the mouth with the action of saliva. When the food arrives in the stomach in the normal situation stomach acid stops this digestion. So, carbohydrates have to wait until they arrive in the duodenum to be digested. But in the stomach with low acidity overgrowing microbes start fermenting dietary carbohydrates, often with the production of various toxins and gas, which can make it very uncomfortable..... "

So, then with abnormal gut flora, and undigested proteins, you end up with Leaky Gut!

If you have functional detox pathways, the toxins get excreted through urine, stool, skin, and breastmilk.

From the "Health Benefits of Fermenting Foods":
"Ever since people have been eating food, they have been using these friendly critters to ferment at least some of them. From meat and milk to grains and vegetables, lacto-fermenting (or fermenting using lactic acid producing bacterium) has promoted thorough digestion and good health for centuries.

Fermenting a food increases it’s digestibility in several ways. First it pre-digests the food making for less work for your body. Second it adds to its enzyme content. Third it adds lactic acid and lactic acid producing bacteria to the intestinal tract where they continue their digestive properties as well as controlling pathogens such as parasites and Candida albicans. They promote formation of B vitamins and enzymes in the intestines. They can neutralize cancer causing substances and protect you from their effects. The presence of lactic acid is vital to proper digestion, but in this day of antibiotics and fake foods, our own population of lactobacilli are often lacking."

Eat some sauerkraut! Drink some kefir!!

How long have you had symptoms? How long have you been consuming ferments? Any history of antibiotics, antacids, eczema, allergies?

Do you get enough vit D from the sun? Latitude matters.

Are you soaking grains? Is dairy an issues? Type of dairy source? Do you eat meat or eggs? B12 source? EFA?

What about bone broths? Dark, leafy greens? Selenium? Vit C? You might try alkalizing the body with lemon juice in water for sipping. There are more suggestions here:

Also, Epsom salt baths are great for detoxing and magnesium.

Do you have mercury fillings in your teeth? Any heavy metal toxicity? Are you nursing?

I have a list of 'inquiry' (below) for you. ;-)

The thing that popped out is the rice. I just read that it is acid forming in the body. You can read more about alkaline foods and acid forming foods here:

I found these interesting lists of acid and alkaline foods:

Everything seems to indicate that we need more "alkaline" foods (80% of our diet), because "too much" acidity in the body causes illness. Adding lemon to your drinking water helps to alkalize the body. It is paradoxical. But, helps with detox. Caution with mercury fillings and nursing.

Acidic foods to avoid: grains, meat, beans, egg, cheese, peanuts, butter, chocolate, honey, mayo, vinegar, wine, Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts.

Soaking the rice in an acid medium neutralizes the phytic acid. Just soak overnight with a splash of ACV and it provides about 12x more bio-available nutrients of magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium!

But, consider other more protein rich grain alternatives: oats, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, tritacale, millet, barley, spelt, and Kamut. I make Sue Gregg's blender batter pancakes and other baking by soaking whole grains. I use a bunch of those different ones. I buy them in bulk and then just mix them all up together, so I have one place to scoop out "grains". That way, I'm getting so many more varieties of grain and nutrients. Here method uses a regular blender and *whole* grains!

Also, most all corn sold for food is GMO-corn. It is much more allergenic and less well tolerated by the gut. We only eat organic corn, now.

I'm curious about the reaction to "nuts". Hives, rash, upset stomach? Do you avoid other 'tree nuts'? What about adding pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, both are high in zinc. Walnuts? They are high in Omega 3 and manganese and tryptophan.

I'm not keen on bottled probiotics or bottled enzymes, personally. Both, seem to bypass and disrupt the body's balance of them, imo. Single strain, or limited strain probiotics are expensive and rarely helpful, imo. I trust the body to be self-correcting with whole food nourishment. There are ways to enhance the enzyme content of our diet, naturally.

I was a bit concerned about your vit A consumption. You might add it up and see how much you are consuming with the "large dose of CLO". You can get too much, and it needs to be in ratio to vit D. And vit K is relevant here too.

Same with selenium. It is necessary, but too much is easy with supplements. Consider counting it up.

Regarding the licorice. I'm confused. From a bit of reading, it appears that licorice root acts as a steroid. Steroids have rebound issues. Additionally, they alter the other sex hormones, from my understanding. The low blood pressure hinted at adrenal issues. The nutrients are important to adrenal support and hormonal balance. Especially magnesium, which is deficient in our soil and food sources. The Natural Calm and Epsom salts are really important. But, so inconvenient, imo. I forget the Mg too often. Haven't taken it yet today, myself. :-)

Here is a list of natural antifungal, antibacterial, antiparasitic foods and spices to include routinely in your diet. That is a traditional route of facilitating the body to balance. Have you heard of the "Master Tonic"?

Also, consider including legumes, which are high in molybdenum, which is essential for opening detox pathways. Although, they are acid forming. Soak overnight to improve bio-availability of nutrients, significantly.

Read a bit more about methionine. Methionine is found in good quantities in meat, fish, beans, eggs, garlic, lentils, onions, yogurt and seeds, soybeans.

Do you drink milk? Raw? A lot of cheese? All acid forming. I was an ovo lacto vegetarian for some years. I lived on milk and eggs. All acid forming foods...

A few foods to consider adding for their nutrient density are blueberries, pumpkin, broccoli, beets, tomatoes. We like all of those, but we don't include them regularly. I'm trying to offer them more to my family. We eat them. I just don't buy them often. More now that I realize. Also, check the links for more easy foods to maximize nutrition, and minimize the need for supplements.
100 World's Healthiest Foods:
30 Essential Nutrients:

I consumed a lot of my protein from dairy, because it was convenient. Cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, ice cream, etc. I "needed" that boost with adrenal fatigue. Now I realize I can get complete amino acids from vegetables, if I juice a wide variety of dark leafy greens. You can read more about 'green smoothies':

Also, check out this breathing exercise, which 'Calm' posted last year to her blog. This TOTALLY relates to acid/base in the body. We must breath more to blow off excess CO2 (which is an acid), if it builds up in the body too quickly.

Hope that helps, take what is useful. I bet you know most of it. I do. But, I don't always do it. LOL It was very helpful to me to go through this with you.

Thank you.

I have just today begun reading here so I may have missed it. Can someone clarify the difference between the concepts of needing enough acid in the stomach and needing to avoid acidifying foods? Thank you!

Briefly, foods have different... forgot you are an engineer. There are a bunch of you engineers around here. LOL Let me find a scientific explanation.

"When a food is ingested, digested, and absorbed, each component of that food will present itself to the kidneys as either an acid-forming compound or a base-forming one. "

The stomach "acid", HCl helps to digest food. When it is inadequate, you get "wrong" bacteria overgrowth, and poor nutrient absorption. Basically. (no pun intended! LOL)

There are two different locations (well many) where the ph varies in the body. Like the mouth has a different ph, than the bladder, gut, blood, etc. But, the overall blood ph becomes more and more acidic, affecting the whole body's cells ability to function, when our "overall" food intake results in acidity.

I found this article recently, which explains this complex subject more clearly.

Thanks for the link, Pat. I'm actually a scientist, a chemist. I thought about becoming an engineer but my dad is one so... ha ha (Dean will be one too shortly!)

Anyway, I was guessing this was the distinction but I had so many questions at once... Berardi is talking about micronutrients, like Ca++, Mg++, Na+, and K+ as ions (minerals) that can *form* bases... And others, anions like sulfates and phosphates, that form acids. It's not clear to me the biochemical pathways that take whole food to an acidic blood (or body) pH but his point that there is a correlation between the cation/anion composition in food and pH of urine is interesting (and supported in the scientific literature; I did a quick search). What's bothering me is that it's not possible to find an anion without a counter ion around. A common counter ion to sulfate is calcium. So I don't exactly get how sulfates "make acids" in the body unless there is more complex biochemistry going on. It may be that they strip amino acids of their hydrogen ions making them more reactive or something like that...

Maybe the counter ions to the "basic" minerals in foods are easily removed by the body, whereas sulfates may not be? And sulfate forms a strong acid, as does phosphate, so maybe it's the strength of the acid formed from the ion that's the issue... (CaSO4 would readily strip H from an amino acid perhaps, leaving the Ca, yes, but in the process acidifying the surrounding medium (with sulfuric acid! ouch), a guess...)

I will also be looking for more information that correlates urine acidity with blood or kidney or other organ pH.

This is all great stuff and I'm really excited to be learning all of it. Thanks!
You lost me. LOL Check out the Krebs Cycle. Hated that stuff in chemistry and A&P. LOL

I know the stuff from the patient end, when folks were too acidic they died. Here is a bit of acid base balance from the Merck Manual:

Here is an acid base tutorial, but it isn't simplified!

There are respiratory and metabolic factors involved in acid base balance.

The metabolic factors involve digestion, metabolism by the liver, excretion through the gut, kidneys, skin, lungs, breastmilk.

Apparently, sulfate isn't consumed in isolation, it is attached to magnesium or some other mineral. Not sure how that plays into it. There are some byproducts which we can not consume directly, but are the "toxins" of Phase I detox pathways, per my understanding.

Glad we have a chemist on the job of deciphering this.

wahoo! check out those links. OK, got some 'cipherin ta do.
phosphate does NOT form a strong acid, so sorry! it's pretty weak.
Corrected link: This is a terrific diagram of chemical "Pathways to Happiness and Sleep" (Serotonin and Melatonin). http://www.understand-andcure-anxietyattacks-panicattacks-depressio...

All the acid forming/alkaline ash stuff doesn't sit well in my head either. I'm still not clear on the specifics, but I think the kidneys have a lot to do with it. Something about hydrogen being excreted along with sodium, so if that mechanism isn't working right (low aldosterone in adrenal fatigue?) then the blood will become more acidic, and the urine more basic.

The next place I would look is at what different ions are needed by the body - like if you needed the calcium which left the anion? Or the other way around? I don't know, this is just where I'd start poking around.
Coincidentally, I just posted this moments ago on MDC!

Check the back of the package, but online it says:
"Simply dissolve 2 cups of 100% Natural Mineral Epsom Salt in a warm bath."

I add a cup or two to the bathwater. Ds plays for about 20-30 minutes. I've read daily baths are beneficial.

Here is a site which talks about several different types of detox baths:

doesn't this picture look relaxing. :::sigh:::

Here is a pdf file which talks about Epsom salt baths, benefits and kids.

Also, look about consuming some honey throughout the day. I just found this fascinating information about how honey helps to regulate blood sugar!

Apparently, honey is different because of the fructose, in addition to glucose. Fructose is stored in the liver for future needs of blood sugar regulation. The glucose formed from the fructose is stored in the liver and released only if and when blood glucose falls. AND "The Fructose Paradox" allows for glucose uptake into the liver and therefore prevents a rapid rise in blood glucose.

The first and third links talk about the melatonin connection also. Also related to growth hormone production.

From the second article:

"Any fall in blood glucose is dangerous for the brain. Even a minor fall in blood glucose will cause the brain to panic. This will cause the adrenal glands to be activated, to go into hyper drive and the adrenal hormones are, if overproduced toxic to human biology.
The hormones are of course essential for the type of crisis mentioned but these hormones (stress hormones) make us sick if we produce them chronically.

Chronic overproduction of the adrenal glands is the condition of modern man and will lead to conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes (non insulin dependent), poor immune function, depression and other distressing conditions with which we are all familiar.

If we can look after our liver glycogen store, by including in our diet the correct balance of carbohydrates so that both the liver and therefore the brain are catered for at all times of the day and night we reduce the requirement for production of the adrenal hormones, and we can then reserve our adrenal glands for their correct function which is for fight or flight.

By looking after our liver glycogen store in the way that nature intended, by using natural fructose from fruit, dried fruit, fruit juice and the other natural source, honey."

Also, I've found that making a green smoothie in the morning, gives me some extra 'go to' nourishment, when I'm too busy to bother with the hassle of food. I make extra, then store it for sipping on late in the afternoon.

Also, if I wash the fruits and vegetables in advance, so that I can just grab them, I'm much more apt to choose that. If I have to wash it or find a colander and slice it up, I'll rather grab a Lara bar. We've really been enjoying having the cauliflower and broccoli and some guacamole prepared for snacking.


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