hcl – Chemical formula for hydrochloric acid

I just read that people with adequate stomach acid and those taking Betaine hcl, hydrochloric acid, reduce the h.pylori attached to their stomach lining.

This is good news because h.pylori causes low vitamin B12 levels, as well as stomach ulcers and ultimately stomach cancer.

Helicobacter pylori (h.pylori) is one of the most common causes of peptic ulcer disease worldwide and a major cause of chronic superficial gastritis leading to atrophy of gastric glands… Helicobacter pylori – Archives of Internal Medicine. May 2000.

There are health professional naysayers, however, who point out that the rise in stomach acid from taking hydrochloric acid tablets is short lived, anywhere from 69 minutes to a couple hours.

That sounds like valid criticism until you realize that’s how long it takes to digest food, which is what you want hydrochloric acid for anyway.

Helicobacter pylori (h.pylori)

The icing on the cake is hydrochloric acid reducing the h.pylori attached to your stomach lining.

Signs you may have hypochlorhydria

Anyone with inadequate stomach acid is said to have hypochlorhydria.

  • burping
  • upset stomach
  • burning
  • flatulence
  • diarrhea
  • nausea from supplements
  • rectal itching
  • weak, peeling/cracked fingernails
  • dilated capillaries in cheeks/nose(in non- alcoholics)
  • post adolescent Acne
  • iron deficiency
  • other mineral deficiencies
  • chronic intestinal infections
  • undigested food in stool
  • lines on your fingernails

NOW Methyl-B12 1000 mcg


Warning : If you have symptoms of hypochlorhydria but also have peptic ulcers or gastritis, or are taking NSAIDS, do NOT use HcL. Instead use methylcobalamin. It will lower your homocysteine and enhance your nerve and cardiovascular health.

In my experience Betaine hcl with pepsin works fine and isn’t irritating.

If you don’t have a reason not to take hydrocholoric acid, it could be useful.

Decades ago I had a really good book on nutrition that ended with the author saying that if she were allowed only a limited number of supplements, she would for sure include hydrochloric acid.

When I was making this Hydrochloric Acid page, it made me happy to read,

“Betaine HCL often relieves the symptoms of heartburn, and improves digestion in people with hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid).”

Although I rarely have heartburn, when I did have it and took hydrochloric acid, heartburn disappeared, which seemed strange given the usual “cure” is removing acid.

However, I know that taking hydrochloric acid removed my heartburn.

Because Betaine HCl can irritate the stomach lining, if you have a burning sensation, discontinue its use. (My impression is that this is rare, but serious. I was scared the first few times I took Hydrochloric Acid, but I never had a problem. On the contrary, it did a lot of good.)

WebMD says Betaine hcl is useless, but I think that’s in the same category as the doctor’s advice I received saying that I could not have a B12 deficiency if I wasn’t a vegetarian. i.e., I am sure it’s wrong.


What’s the “Betaine” in Betaine hcl mean?

A betaine (BEET-uh-een, bē’tə-ēn’, -ĭn) in chemistry is any neutral chemical compound. The original betaine, N,N,N-trimethylglycine, was named after its discovery in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) in the 19th century.

Betaine HCl with Pepsin

Well tolerated by most highly allergic individuals. Meant to be taken with food, since its purpose is to free B12 and other nutrients from food.

If your primary interest is increasing the amount of B12 you get from food, then you don’t need to take it when you are eating carbohydrates.

Hydrochloric acid connection to “pins and needles”

Low magnesium can cause pins and needles. If you have a sensation of pins and needles in your feet, hands or elsewhere, hydrochloric acid taken with foods containing magnesium will help you get the magnesium you need. Basically, hydrochloric acid is needed to release magnesium from food.

Magnesium is known to reduce or eliminate the feeling of pins and needles. If you have kidney problems, then you shouldn’t take magnesium. 

Pins and needles ~ Read more.

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