When you think about how your body is built and where all the “materials” come from, there is one gateway that makes it all possible, the stomach.
Raw materials your body needs to build healthy cells enter the body through the stomach. The stomach needs to make acid so that it can break down food. This is pretty straight forward, however, the acid production also provides a signal to the small intestine to start a whole slew of cascades. Here is a list of things stomach acid plays a role in:
Stomach acid breaks down proteins into amino acids. Amino acids are essential to make neurotransmitters. If there is not enough stomach acid these proteins remain intact and enter the body. When white blood cells see these proteins they see them as foreign invaders. The white blood cells try to destroy the protein and make antibodies for the ingested protein. White blood cells cover the ingested proteins with fat, thinking that it is protecting you from a foreign invader. Slowly you become “fluffy” and allergic to the foods you eat.
Gastric inhibitory protein gets released when acid reaches the small intestine and tells the stomach to slow production of acid.
Secretin gets released when stomach acid reaches the small intestine and stimulates the release of bicarbonate into the small intestine in order to neutralize the acid from the stomach.
Cholecystokinin gets released when stomach acid reaches the small intestine and tells the gall bladder to release bile so that fats can be absorbed and acid can be neutralized. If you can’t absorb fats, you can’t build new cell walls, you can’t absorb fat soluble vitamins, and you can’t make hormones. If your gall bladder has been removed you can no longer do any of these things!
GABA is a hormone produced from fats and gets released when stomach acid reaches the small intestine in order to relax the esophagus and increases intestinal motility. Also, GABA calms you down. Many kids with ADHD don’t make enough stomach acid and in turn don’t produce enough GABA.
When stomach acid reaches the small intestine an electronic signal gets sent to the esophagus/stomach valve and tells it to close. If there’s not enough stomach acid the signal will not be sent so you will experience indigestion or “heart burn.”
What if you can’t make stomach acid or you decrease your stomach acid by taking an antacid?
You can become allergic to foods
You can become depressed
You can get indigestion
You can’t make new cell walls
You can’t make hormones
You can lose the ability to absorb vitamins
You can build up acid in the body
People need to realize that without stomach acid, it’s almost impossible to remain healthy.
Lay off the antacid and get your stomach acid working again!
If you want to produce stomach acid you need iodine, zinc, selenium, B1 (thiamine), and vitamin C. Make sure that you are ingesting these in adequate amounts and you will vastly improve your ability to make stomach acid.
The following reaction results in stomach acid (HCl) and bicarbonate.
How do you know if you are not making enough stomach acid?
You can try and check your levels of vitamin D. If it is low, this could be an indication that you are not producing enough stomach acid.
If you have any symptoms of ADHD, this could indicate that you are deficient in stomach acid.
You could consider adding a combination of digestive enzymes and acid to your diet with each meal. Pay attention to how you feel after each meal. If you notice you no longer have heart burn, this could indicate that you need to supplement the items I listed above to produce your own stomach acid.
If your stomach is producing enough stomach acid, then your “gateway” is functioning correctly and your body is more likely to get the supplies it needs to build healthy new cells.
Your body wants to be healthy, so give it what it needs!