What Is a Hydrochloric Acid Supplement?

Glyn Sinclair

Hydrochloric acid is produced by certain cells in the stomach as a means of digesting fats and proteins. This acid can decrease with age and create digestion problems. Symptoms such as bloating and gas may present after eating if hydrochloric acid levels drop. A hydrochloric acid supplement (HCL) is typically ingested before, during and after meals and aids in breaking down proteins and amino acids. The supplement should be taken with caution if there are already normal levels of hydrochloric acid present as this may increase the possibility of ulcers developing.

Osteoporosis is one condition that can be found in conjunction with hypochlorhydria.
Osteoporosis is one condition that can be found in conjunction with hypochlorhydria.

Many people with food allergies tend to have problems with levels of hydrochloric acid and its secretion in the stomach. Sometimes the levels can be completely depleted or there may be a problem with the amount that is secreted. This is called hypochlorhydria. If this is suspected, a physician may recommend a Heidelberg gastrogram. This is a procedure to check the patient’s ability to properly secrete hydrochloric acid.

It's important to seek your physician's advice before taking hydrochloric acid supplements.
It's important to seek your physician's advice before taking hydrochloric acid supplements.

If this test confirms that the patient is unable to sufficiently secrete the acid, a physician may recommend a hydrochloric acid supplement. This course will typically be introduced gradually to prevent ulceration. People over the age of fifty may be helped by a hydrochloric acid supplement that is taken with meals to help food breakdown and utilization of nutrients. Chronic stress can also be a factor that causes hydrochloric acid levels to decrease.

Pepsin and HCl are secreted separately, and do not meet until they become part of the gastric juices.
Pepsin and HCl are secreted separately, and do not meet until they become part of the gastric juices.

Some of the symptoms of hypochlorhydria can include heartburn, dilated blood vessels of the cheeks and nose, brittle finger nails, diarrhea and acne. There are other conditions that can be found in conjunction with hypochlorhydria and these can include asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis and hives. A deficiency in stomach acids can also lead to malnutrition regardless of how good the diet may be. People that are suffering from this condition may often feel hungry even though they are eating in sufficient quantities. Certain antacids and ulcer medications, as well as foods high in sugar can cause hypochlorhydria to occur.

As with other dietary supplements, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not formally evaluated the effectiveness of hydrochloric acid supplements.
As with other dietary supplements, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not formally evaluated the effectiveness of hydrochloric acid supplements.

A hydrochloric acid supplement can come in a number of forms. Some of these can include HCL liquid, betaine HCL and glutamic HCL. Liquid HCL comes in a liquid form, whereas betaine HCL can come in a capsule form and glutamic in a powder form. It is recommended that a pepsin supplement be taken along with the HCL supplements. Pepsin is an enzyme that aids in digestion and is naturally occurring in the stomach.

Certain antacids can cause hypochlorhydria to occur.
Certain antacids can cause hypochlorhydria to occur.
Symptoms of hypochlorhydria may include heartburn.
Symptoms of hypochlorhydria may include heartburn.
Those who use supplements but have normal levels of hydrochloric acid already may be at an increased risk of developing ulcers.
Those who use supplements but have normal levels of hydrochloric acid already may be at an increased risk of developing ulcers.
Acne can be a symptom of hypochloridia.
Acne can be a symptom of hypochloridia.
A hydrochloric acid supplement may increase the possibility of ulcers.
A hydrochloric acid supplement may increase the possibility of ulcers.

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Discussion Comments

anon1000429

The the majority of this article is factually incorrect. Please never take hydrochloride tablets unless a physician instructs you to do so. It is unethitical for this company to make false claims for their product and they will be reported to the better business bureau.

Source: I am a physician

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