How to Boost Your GI System

An essential part of absorbing nutrients from your food involves digesting (breaking down) the macro molecules into particles readily absorbable. Digestion begins in the mouth through chewing and the addition of ptyalin, the carbohydrate digesting enzyme from saliva. As the food travels to the stomach, hydrochloric acid (HCl) is secreted by the stomach cells to continue the process.

One problem comes in when deficiencies of B vitamins, essential for the creation of HCl, causes more stress on the stomach and often sends food particles to the small intestine only partially digested. These partially digested masses stress the pancreas, the maker of digestive enzymes, and leave carbohydrates to ferment, rather than absorb, in the gut. What happens next can be a cascade of problems all caused by too little HCl and stressed enzyme production.

Orthomolecular’s product, Betaine & Pepsin, “provides two essential components of healthy digestion: hydrochloric acid (HCl) and the digestive enzyme, pepsin.” Hydrochloric acid is needed for proper digestion of protein and for the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. HCl also is essential for signaling the pancreas to release digestive enzymes.

Traditional therapies combat indigestion with acid blockers in attempt to lower stomach acid, when the true issue is often insufficient levels of HCl. The resulting reaction of these traditional therapies impair protein digestion and mineral breakdown due to the reduction of stomach acidity. This leads to significant changes in gut flora and the promotion of unwanted bacteria, such as H.pylori. Maintaining adequate levels of HCl is necessary for basic maintenance of beneficial gastric flora. Betaine and Pepsin supports normal digestion, absorption and optimal immune health by supporting natural gastric secretions.

Stomach Acidity Deficiency

An estimated 30% of Americans suffer from low levels of acidity, resulting in the incomplete digestion of foods. Studies have shown that HCl production decreases with age, resulting in a larger percentage of adults suffering from poor digestive health. HCl and healthy digestive enzymes are imperative for digestive health, allowing for further stomach acid production and absorption of vitamins and minerals.


“Betaine is a natural substance found in foods such as beets and spinach. Research suggests that betaine supports cell health by acting by acting as a methyl donor.” With this, betaine supports healthy methionine, homocysteine and hepatic fat metabolism, allowing for cell and protein maintenance during fluctuations in hydration, salinity and temperature. Betaine HCl has been used for years to support digestion and absorption due to its unique capabilities to lower gastric pH. With the help of betaine, the body can digest properly and combat pathogens found in daily food intake.


“One of the first enzymes to initiate protein digestion, pepsin is synthesized in the parietal cells of the gastric mucosa and secreted as the inactive precursor, pepsinogen.” Pepsin’s role in digestion acts in breaking down proteins into peptides, activating a chain reaction that produces more pepsin to allow for further protein digestion.

We suggest taking one capsule with each meal to start. Some people need much higher doses for a time until their stomach production of HCl can catch up.


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