Betaine HCL for Increasing Stomach Acid Naturally

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Table of Contents

What is betaine hcl ?

Betaine hydrochloride is a hydrochloric acid source, which promotes optimum gastric acidity to aid protein digestion and absorption of much-needed minerals and nutrients.  This compound makes for a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid, an acidifying compound normally naturally by the gut as part of the digestion process. This supplement should only be taken by those who have reduced levels of stomach acid.

Some physicians recommend betaine hydrochloride as a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid for those with a deficiency of stomach acid production (hypochlorhydria).  It usually comes in tablets or capsules measured in grains or milligrams. Only those who have reduced stomach acid levels (“hypochlorhydria”) should take betaine HCl; a physician can diagnose this condition. The acidity is quite firm in a normal stomach. In actuality, the stomach can be between 100,000 and almost 1,000,000 times more acidic than water.

When there isn’t sufficient stomach acid to digest food, the Lower Esophageal Sphincter or PES won’t get this signal and won’t shut tightly, allowing acid and undigested food to creep up the esophagus resulting in heartburn and indigestion.

See: Sample Meal Plan for GERD- Gastrointestinal reflux disease

What does stomach acid do?

Indigestion affects millions of people daily. For some, it is caused by eating fatty foods. For many others, simple carbohydrates in pasta and bread can lead to gas and bloatingSome research indicates that people with a vast selection of chronic ailments, such as allergies, one asthma, two and infections, three don’t produce adequate stomach acid. Indigestion can be due to many things like insufficient amounts of hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach. HCl secretion in the gut does several positive things. It helps protein digestion by triggering pepsinogen into pepsin. Overuse of antacids or acid blockers may also result in low hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach, leading to poor protein digestion.

Situations like gall bladder removal, overuse of antacids, and even normal aging may result in the insufficient secretion of stomach acid, which could negatively impact digestive enzyme activity and result in occasional indigestion, gas, bloating, and other types of gastrointestinal discomfort. To ensure optimal digestion, one should be sure that there is sufficient HCl content in the gut.

Stomach acid is an essential part of our immune and digestive systems. HCL is also crucial for stimulating the pancreas and pancreas to make bile and enzymes required to break down foods. Low HCL makes it tough to break down foods, particularly protein, to essential amino acids needed for neurotransmitters, hormone support, and healthier skin, nails, and hair. Symptoms of acid reflux, gas, nausea, and bloating are typically treated by a prescription for antacids, histamine type 2 receptor agonists (H2 blockers), Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), and even surgery. For many, these medications only worsen the problem.

Antacids reduce stomach acid then more acid is mechanically produced to bring back the stomach to its planned pH level. This treats the temporary symptoms and does nothing to fix the real issue. H2 blockers block a chemical in the body that promotes acid production in the stomach. They operate more slowly than antacids and are meant to last for more extended amounts of time. On the other hand, they prevent pepsin production, Proton pump inhibitors permanently block an enzyme that informs your stomach to produce acid.

See: Sore throat and acid reflux causes & natural treatments

How does Betaine HCl work?

In the gut, betaine hydrochloride divides into betaine and hydrochloric acid. The hydrochloric acid increases stomach acid. Some physicians may recommend betaine HCL as a source of hydrochloric acid for folks that don’t produce enough of it because of a health condition known as hypochlorhydria.

How Betaine HCL (with Pepsin) Can Help

Our bodies normally create enough HCL to digest our food correctly in an ideal world. In reality, as many people encounter risk factors such as excess anxiety, less than optimum diet, and other underlying health problems every day, our bodies might not always produce HCL correctly.

Betaine HCL may be a life-changing supplement for some individuals, but it needs to be used with care and under a medical practitioner’s supervision. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

HCL should only be taken with foods containing proteins as not as much stomach acid is required for digesting fruits and vegetables. It’s essential to work out the right dose of HCL required as too much or too little may be problematic.

See: Third Trimester Nausea Causes & Remedies

Other Ways to Boost HCL Production Obviously

There are some simple natural remedies to boost HCl levels:

– Eat a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water about 30 minutes before meals.

– Consume high-quality proteins and vegetables

Avoid processed foods, added sugars, and additives.

Do not drink with meals.

Don’t eat when stressed or upset, as anxiety can lower HCL amounts.

Natural remedies to boost stomach acid

There are some simple natural remedies to boost HCl levels:

– Eat a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water about 30 minutes before meals.

– Consume high-quality proteins and vegetables

– Avoid processed foods, added sugars, and additives.

– Do not drink with mealsRestrict liquid intake during meals till at least 30 minutes after a meal to allow for appropriate stomach acid production, pathogen sterilization, and protein metabolism.

– Don’t eat when stressed or upset, as anxiety can lower HCL amounts.

Eat protein foods at the start of your meal to stimulate the digestive enzymes necessary for digesting protein.

Chew thoroughly.

Stay hydrated between foods to support appropriate gut motility; this pushes the contents of the intestines from the body rather than back to the Gut.

Take the betaine HCL at the end of the meal. Don’t take HCL if you take any NSAIDs like Tylenol, ibuprofen, or aspirin.

Apple cider vinegar. One tablespoon in a little bit of water right before a meal can help with digestion.

Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, pickled ginger, and water kefir include organic acids, enzymes, and probiotics to aid with appropriate digestion. They’re also anti-microbial and combat H. pylori, the arch-enemy of stomach acid production.

See: What does heartburn feel like

Precautions & Side Effects

Possible Side Effects

– Insufficient research exists on betaine hydrochloride to know whether it is safe to use. According to some reports printed in a 2016 edition of Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, one possible side effect is heartburn.

– Avoid taking betaine HCL if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, as there’s no advice on how it can affect you or your baby.

– Because betaine HCL can raise the quantity of uric acid in your stomach, it may irritate stomach ulcers or keep them from becoming better. Because of this, it is best not to take betaine HCL when you’ve got a peptic ulcer or reside with peptic ulcer disease.


Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough data exists about the use of betaine hydrochloride through pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is wise to avoid use and be safe.

Peptic ulcer disease: Betaine hydrochloride can increase stomach acid. There’s a concern that the hydrochloric acid generated from betaine hydrochloride might irritate stomach ulcers or stop them from healing.

See: What to drink for acid reflux & heartburn relief