Acid reflux, and the heartburn that results, occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. An estimated 1/3 of “standard diet” eaters experience heartburn on a regular basis. Treatment with both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications may temporarily stop the burning, but the relief can come at a substantial health cost.
Conventional medicos blame excess stomach acid, or hyperacidity, for acid reflux, even though a mechanism to support this claim has not been found. A defective or weakened lower esophageal sphincter, the valve at the top of the stomach, is generally where the blame is placed, although that does not address why excess acid is the culprit.
The cause of acid reflux is actually too little stomach acid, or hypoacidity.
After chewing, food goes down the esophagus and into the stomach via the esophageal sphincter. The presence of food in the stomach triggers a hormone called gastrin, which controls the amount of gastric juices that are secreted.
Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is one of the main components of gastric juices. Enough stomach acid needs to be produced to reduce the stomach pH to around 1.5-2.5. This triggers protein-digesting enzymes, kills harmful microbes, and allows for proper mineral absorption.
If at any time the pH of the stomach drops too low, the hormone gastrin is inhibited and the production of HCl ceases.
It is too little stomach acid that causes digestive distress. Too little HCl inhibits proper digestion and prolongs the time the food stays in the stomach. The longer the food sits in the stomach, the greater the chance of the esophageal sphincter relaxing and allowing acids to come up into the esophagus.
Hippocrates Digestive Compound (Hydrochloric Acid + Papain) is available.