The outside world is full of bacteria: on food, hands, in water, on plates, in the air we breath etc. In the ideal world, “a healthy stomach, which lies directly between the esophagus and the beginning of the intestines, is normally an oasis of sterility, or near sterility. This microbe-free buffer zone exists because of one simple fact: stomach acid kills bacteria.“.1 Including that lurking in your beansprouts.
So as the previous blog on stomach acid stated, once over the age of 40 or symptoms of gastric distress are regularly experienced (this includes wind), these are signs of lower than optimal acidic environment in the stomach and leaves us open to some seriously nasty microorganisms getting a foothold, for example: E. coli, Salmonella, V Cholerae (it leads cholera)or Staphylococcus Aureus (fine on the skin, deadly inside us).
As an example, I had a client who frequently had to work in Kenya. Taking HCl supplementation made his trips more productive at work and less productive on the lavatory.
The one microorganism that has adapted to survive a properly acidic stomach is H Pylori, the bacteria linked to causing ulcers. If ulcers are suspected, get them investigated, take appropriate action to eliminate H Pylori, heal the stomach lining, then restore HCl levels. Good HCl levels do make H Pylori’s life more difficult. Do not get sucked into taking anti-acids.
- Jonathan V Wright, M.D. ‘Why Stomach Acid is Good For You’ [↩]