Your gut issues might be the result of LOW stomach acid. That’s right--not too much acid, which many are told is the root cause of heartburn. Low stomach acid is frequently the case, and it can cause systemic issues.
Low stomach acid is also known as hypochlorhydria. Without adequate amounts of acid and enzymes that break down food, this condition can lead to nutrient absorption issues, particularly B vitamins and trace minerals such as zinc, boron, selenium and magnesium to name a few. These vitamins and minerals require stomach acids for proper breakdown and absorption, and without it, these key nutrients can’t be fully assimilated by the body no matter how much you supplement!
Aside from nutrient deficiencies which may lead to various health issues (fatigue, hair loss, poor immune function, systemic inflammation to name a few), low stomach acid creates an environment that is a flourishing wasteland for pathogens such as harmful bacteria and parasites which literally thrive in low acidic digestive tracts. Stomach acid has a big role of guarding the digestive system, as the acid kills pathogens.
Some common signs of low stomach acid include: Stomach pain (both when empty and full), heartburn, acne and other skin issues, fatigue, nausea, osteoporosis, diabetes/metabolic syndrome, weight gain, malnutrition, acid reflux, autoimmune diseases, SIBO and more.
So, how did your gut get to this place of low stomach acid? Stress and a poor diet play a huge part. Chronic use of certain heartburn medications, such as Nexium and other proton pump inhibitors used to treat heartburn may also alter the natural balance of stomach acid. These pharmaceuticals might manage the symptoms but do not address the root cause, which may create greater dysbiosis and reduction in stomach acid, placing many people into a vicious cycle. Age also may naturally reduce stomach acid, which occurs in our forties. If you’ve had a known infection such as H. pylori or SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) or parasitic infection, this, too, can create an imbalance of stomach acid in your digestive tract.
You can blame issues on the food you eat, as well, even the healthy foods you choose to eat! Enzymes are found in food, such as fruits and vegetables, however, food manufacturers have discovered an advantage to removing them—without enzymes, food looks better for longer on a grocery store shelf. Therefore, food manufacturers now remove enzymes from food to feed their bottom line. They utilize chemicals and processing mechanisms, which on the consumer end, cause issues with digestion since the enzymes necessary for this function are no longer naturally available in the food. GMO foods and conventional fruits and vegetables are hit the hardest, so try to buy organic or better yet, seek out local farms and farmers markets or grow your own, if possible.
Leaky Gut Syndrome, autoimmune disease or serious chronic illness may also reduce stomach acid and create further complications. If you’re low on digestive enzymes, you might experience gas and bloating after eating carbohydrates. You may also experience a sense of fullness and heartburn. Low digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid (HCL) reduce your body’s ability to break down food and absorb nutrients. These undigested proteins may also result in Leaky Gut Syndrome or further its effects, causing food particles to leak into the bloodstream, creating inflammation, food sensitivities and chronic health issues, such as autoimmune disease.
The good news is that increasing stomach acid naturally is very simple and may improve multiple health issues in very little time. What’s the fix? It’s as simple as eating pineapple..
Pineapple contains a compound called bromelain, which naturally supports digestion and increases stomach acid. It contains proteolytic enzymes, which assist with many bodily processes and are produced intrinsically by your stomach and pancreas. We are also able to attain them from eating pineapple.
There’s science to back up the digestive benefits of eating pineapple. One study looked at people with reported indigestion who took supplements containing proteolytic enzymes found in bromelain. Participants experienced symptom improvement with a significant reduction in abdominal pain, bloating, heartburn and belching.
Proteolytic enzymes don’t just help with digestion--they’re instrumental in activating immune function, blood clotting and cellular division. The known benefits of pineapple have been part of healing since ancient times. A 2016 study published in Biomedical Reports, demonstrates pineapple’s benefits on immune function due to its high vitamin C and antioxidant content.
One cup of pineapple equals close to the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C; a serving size contains about 79 mg. Wound repair and iron absorption are two important roles in the body heavily influenced by vitamin C, which is also a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system.
Are your children frequently catching colds? Eating pineapple may reduce the number of bacterial and viral infections your children have, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
Pineapples also help support your bones, reducing risk of osteoporosis since they contain a high amount of manganese, a trace mineral important to bone health.
Anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain have also been shown to help with joint pain, according to numerous studies. These same anti-inflammatory properties impact the digestive tract, reducing bowel inflammation in such chronic conditions as IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Bromelain also contains cancer fighting properties, particularly in cancers of the digestive tract. One study examined the effects of bromelain on colon cancer cells, showing it may help prevent colon cancers from proliferation. Another test tube study showed that bromelain may kill cancer cells that are in the bile duct.
Since Leaky Gut is commonly associated with low stomach acid, supplementing with natural ingredients that help repair the gut mucosal lining along with taking bromelain or eating organic pineapple daily will provide better outcomes.
Our Leaky Gut Defense contains DGL licorice root to combat pathogens as well as l-glutamine and aloe to help soothe the gut mucosal lining and promote repair naturally. Arabinogalactan, also known as larch tree bark, helps create a conductive gut environment for good bacteria to thrive.
Replenishing the gut microbiome with good bacteria that helps improve gut transit time and immune function is also helpful in keeping the digestive system healthy.
Our Power Probiotic Daily consists of four well-studied strains, which do just that!
Nature may have solutions available for what ails us, so consider being open to the idea of food as medicine. Plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables were all designed to be our allies.