This is a long clip. Should you not want to watch it all (and I don’t blame you), here is what Dr Jonathan Wright says essentially.
He is referring to his book, ‘Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You’, which I highly recommend reading if you want to know more.
Our stomachs were designed, created or evolved over tens of thousands of generations and they are meant to have stomach acid in them. What makes us think that messing with that is going to make us healthy? Dr Wright is referring to the use of the various anti-acids either bought over the counter or prescribed for us.
In our 40s, 50s or 60s our stomach acid production goes down and we become prone to heartburn, indigestion, gas, belching and/or bloating. He says that 99.9% of the time this is due to low stomach acid.
To counter the symptoms of indigestion, we take patent medicines that totally block the production of stomach acid. If you did this to a 6 year old child, the child wouldn’t grow properly because it wouldn’t be able to digest the protein, it wouldn’t be able to bring the minerals or Vitamin B12 into its body.
So when, as an adult, these patent medicines are taken, they inadvertently cause malnutrition. Since there are no immediate side effects, getting sick five years down the line is not blamed on these medicines. We just assume we feel more tired because we are getting older. When Hydrochloric Acid is added to the diet (this is the naturally occurring stomach acid), people come back saying ‘Oh, I’m not so tired anymore. Gee, it must have been malnutrition.’
Dr Wright does say that in a few cases, the stomach lining is so atrophied that it has to be renourished before HCl can be taken. And this is most certainly the case in the UK. If red meat is disliked – frequently it is the smell that people complain of – then this is a red flag that the digestion is far from optimal. Rather than assuming it is OK to not eat red meat, to ensure a long and active old age (and to avoid future stomach upsets), it would be wise to address digestion to avoid malnutrition no matter how good the rest of the diet is.
He talks about testing HCl levels. There is a simpler and cheaper way of doing this that we Biosignature Practitioners use based on finding out eating habits and, if safe, taking a very small dose of HCl and then building this up bit by bit until the correct level is found.
To elucidate on why he says lack of HCl causes malnutrition: protein enters the stomach where it needs to be broken down into its component parts called amino acids(this is simplified for clarity. Read the book for more detail). These are used extensively throughout the body for many critical actions -the obvious muscle building and repair, but also in the brain, the immune system, some hormones – eg insulin, transportation of vitamins, minerals, oxygen and fats around the body. The less well broken down a protein is, the less of it is accessible1. Also many minerals come from the diet attached to an amino acid, eg zinc, iron, calcium and the vitamin B12. Good levels of HCl are needed to sheer these nutrients from the amino acid so they are accessible further down the digestive tract. In summary: poor HCl levels = poor breakdown of nutrients = malnutrition, prime symptom = tired all the time.
Although Dr Wright says that HCl levels drop after the age of 40, my years of experience as a Biosignature Practitioner have shown me that here in the UK, age has little relevance to whether HCl levels are optimal. This has to be partly due to a lack of zinc in the diet. I run a very simple zinc test and have never had anyone come any where near passing it. Zinc is a major building block of HCl production, so with insufficient zinc in the diet, plus the necessary good HCl levels to access it from the diet, low HCl levels in the UK seem to be prevalent.
Some signs of low HCl:
Very bad breath
Thinning hair in non-PCOS women
Flaking nails/ridged nails
Dr Wright also attributes many autoimmune disorders to having a basis in low HCl levels.
The bottom line is that we can try our very best to eat the most organic, freshest diet possible, but if the diet isn’t absorbed properly by passing through a highly acidic bath, we are wide open for malnutrition and invasion by opportunistic bacteria.
- Lundh G. Intestinal digestion and absorption after gastrectomy. Acta Chirug Scand Suppl. 1958,231:1-83 [↩]