In order to confirm whether hydrochloric acid (HCl) is needed, the HCL trial is used to assess stomach digestive function by evaluating the integrity of the stomach lining and its mucous barrier. There is a correlation between a strong barrier and a strong digestive function (i.e. acid and enzyme production).
capsules are taken in increasing doses with substantial meals until symptoms of excess manifest. A typical program would be:
- Meal 1: Take 1 capsule (8-10 grains – 500-700mg) at the beginning of complex meals (i.e. with protein, but not if you eat only fruit, a light salad or a simple bowl of cereal). When taking several capsules, it is best if they are taken throughout the meal (beginning, middle, end).
- Meal 2: Take 2 capsules at the beginning of your meal.
- Meal 3: Take 3 capsules at the beginning of your meal.
- Meal 4: Take 4 capsules with your meal; meal 5 (take 5 capsules) and so on, up to 8-12 capsules per meal. For those who would like more rapid results, you could increase the dose by two capsules each meal instead of one.
Capsules should be swallowed whole, not emptied into food or water.
When and if irritation (heartburn
, stomach ache
, heaviness, nausea
) occurs, you may take an antacid
(i.e. Tums, Alka-seltzer Gold, or baking soda and water at 1/2 tsp. per cup) to neutralize the excess acidity if you desire. Resume taking the acid capsules at a dose of 1-2 capsules less per meal than the number that caused symptoms. You may take even less with smaller or lighter meals. If symptoms of poor digestion are reduced or disappear during the trial it indicates the need for HCL
Expected Outcome; Side-Effects
Individuals with very moderate HCL
deficiency generally show rapid improvement in symptoms and early signs of intolerance to the acid. This typically indicates a return to normal acid production. Supplementation levels are reduced accordingly, even to the point of no longer requiring the supplement. If maldigestion symptoms return, supplementation can be restarted. Individuals with low HCL/Pepsin may not respond as well to botanicals and supplements, so to maximize benefits, it is important to continue HCL supplementation.
Administration of HCL
/Pepsin is contra-indicated in peptic ulcer