Hypochlorhydria, a lack of stomach acid, arises when the stomach is unable to produce hydrochloric acid. It is a greatly overlooked cause of problems.
Acid environment in the stomach
The stomach requires an acid environment for several reasons.
- acid is required for the digestion of protein,
- acid is required for the stomach to empty correctly and failure to do so results in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (heartburn),
- acid is required to sterilise the stomach and kill bacteria and yeast that may be ingested and
- an acid environment is required for the absorption of certain micronutrients, in particular divalent and trivalent cat-ions such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, selenium, boron and so on.
As we age, our ability to produce stomach acid declines, but some people are simply not very good at producing stomach acid, sometimes because of pathology in the stomach (such as an allergic gastritis secondary to food intolerance), but sometimes for reasons unknown.
Problems arising from hypochlorhydria.
There are many possible problems that could arise from hypochlorhydria:
- Failure to digest foods properly. This will result in a general malabsorption of proteins. Indeed, hypochlorhydria as induced by antacids and H2 blockers and protein pump inhibitors substantially increases one’s risk of osteoporosis because the body simply does not have the raw material to replace bone. Many degenerative conditions will be associated, therefore, with hypochlorhydria.
- Failure to absorb trace elements. Trace elements are essential for normal body functioning. If these are not present then the biochemistry of the body will go slow, organs will go slow and this will accelerate the ageing process. Therefore, one would expect to see people getting diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and neuro-degenerative conditions, before their time.
- Failure to sterilise the stomach contents. This will make individuals more susceptible to gut infections such as gastro-enteritis and possibly enteroviruses such as Epstein-Barr virus, Coxsackie virus, Echovirus and so on. Gastric acid is an essential part of normal defences against disease. Gastric acid is also essential for getting rid of undesirable bacteria and yeast that appear in the diet. Particularly virulent strains, of course, may cause simple food poisoning. However, if there is an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast in the stomach, then foods will get fermented instead of being digested. This produces wind and gas resulting in bloating and alcohols, which may or may not be useful to the body.
- Increased risk of stomach cancer. Having the wrong bacteria and yeast in the stomach will irritate the lining of the stomach and increase one’s risk of stomach cancer.
- Malabsorption of vitamin B12. It is well known that the stomach must be acid in order to absorb B12. Indeed, using a proton pump inhibitor such as Omeprazole, will reduce absorption of vitamin B12 to less than 1% of expected. Many people already suffer from borderline B12 deficiency – this is a difficult vitamin for the body to assimilate, but essential for normal biochemistry.
Symptoms of hypochlorhydria
When any of the above problems go wrong, it can result in symptoms.
- Accelerated ageing because of malabsorption.
- Wind, gas and bloating as foods are fermented instead of being digested, i.e. irritable bowel syndrome.
- A tendency to allergies – the reason for this is that if foods are poorly digested, then large antigenically interesting molecules get into the lower gut, where if the immune system reacts against them, that can switch on allergy.
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
- Iron deficiency Anaemia
- B12 deficiency
- A tendency to candida dysbiosis or bacterial dysbiosis.
It is not always possible to protect ourselves against the influenza virus. This is because of the numerous different strains of the influenza virus. However, there are several things you can do in order to prevent a flu infection. The main thing is that you need to maintain a healthy immune system.
Follow these helpful hints to maintain a healthy immune system and reduce your chance of becoming infected with the influenza virus this season:
Wash your hands regularly
By washing your hands, you will decrease the likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose or mouth. Follow these 3 best handwashing technique.
- Use warm water
- Work up a good amount of soap all the way up to your wrists for at least 10 or 15 seconds.
- Clean all surfaces including the back of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and the often overlooked area; the fingernails.
The whole procedure should take preferably 1 ½ minute.
Don’t be tempted to use antibacterial soaps because this will be of no help. We are dealing with a virus and not a bacteria. The only thing you are likely to achieve is spreading an antibiotic resistant bacteria. Today researchers and doctors know that taking anti biotic or using anti bacteria soaps will only increase the chance that you will develop a bacterial infection.
After washing, spray some colloidal Silver on to your hands and rub this in. Use this also if you want to, safely, clean the surfaces of doorknobs, cutlery, telephones, mouse, keyboards etc.
The properties of colloidal silver have been known and documented for decades. By using this transdermally, the silver can help you in a safe way fighting of the invaders.
Get enough sleep
Make sure you get enough sleep. Regular rest will help keep you strong and help your immune system fight of any potential invaders. Your rest should be of high quality, and if you have trouble sleeping, then have a look at sleeping problems
Remember, the more rested you are, the quicker you will recover.
Exercise is an important factor in maintaining the health and well-being of your immune system. It helps to move the lymph system through the body, sheds unwanted pounds, removes toxins, improves Vitamin D production when done outside and improves blood circulation throughout the extremities.
Exercising helps your immune system to be more efficient in finding an illness before it has a chance to spread.
Decrease your stress
When you have a very stressful lifestyle (which most of us have), it is very important to decrease the amount of stress. Stress wears you emotionally and physically down. Being under too much stress or too long, will have a negative impact on your immune system. Your defences will be too weak to keep any invader out. It’s like opening your home for everybody and anybody.
Learn to manage your stress by eliminating the persons or situation which cause an increase in the stress level that you feel each day. You may believe it is impossible to remove these situations from your life, but it is much more difficult to accommodate your lifestyle to the stress related illnesses in which it can result.
You can also benefit using the following stress reducing tips:
- Emotional Freedom Technique
- Deep breathing
- Exercise (swimming, dancing, team sports etc)
- Listen to or play music
- Spending time with close family or friends.
- Visualizations & Affirmations
- Take up a hobby (painting, writing, woodcraft, gardening, reading, puzzles etc)
Most importantly doing something that you like or even love doing. If you don’t have a hobby, it is really important to find one. If you type in “list of hobbies” in Google, you’ll find several interesting sites. Especially from Wikipedia They have a very good and inspirational list of all sorts of hobbies. Really worthwhile to have a look at. Even if you already have hobbies but want to start something completely different. You could also have a look at bookshops or libraries for hobby books and magazines.
By keeping a positive mindset, you will find it easier to stay relaxed and at the same time have a healthy immune system with maximized defences. This will help you minimize the risk of becoming ill and help you recover faster when you have become ill.
Get your nutrition right.
We really are what we eat, which means that our diets and the foods that we consume each day, will have a significant impact on your immune system.
Eliminate as much processed foods and sugar from your diet as possible. A teaspoon of sugar will have an immediate and negative impact on your immune system for up to six hours. It is better satisfying your taste buds with sweet organic fruit than with ice cream or chocolate.
By eating more alkaline food (large amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits) and lowering the acidic foods such as meats, dairy, sugary foods, fast foods, pastas and white food products, you will be able to support your immune system much better. How to maintain the best balance is explained the book Simple Steps to Optimum Health by Roddy MacDonald.
Research has found that vitamin C will help to boost the immune system and increase the number of white blood cells which are produced in the body in order to help fight the influenza virus. Vitamin C can be taken as supplements using the dosage as suggested on the bottle. The purest form of Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, but when ingested it can cause aggressive stomach and bowel activity. When taken transdermally the bowel and stomach are bypassed, and the product is fed straight into the bloodstream. Here you will find more info about Transdermal Vitamin C.
Be sure that you do not take vitamin C supplements or fruit with vitamin C in the evening because it will keep you awake.
Because our body needs about 64 minerals to function normally and vitamins and minerals need each other, it is important to take in mineral plant-derived supplements. In How to Avoid Mineral Depletion in Your Food it is explained why we don’t have the minerals in our food anymore and therefore the need of supplements.
Vitamin D is a potent antibiotic, increasing the body’s proteins production, called antimicrobial peptides. These proteins destroy the cell wands of bacteria, funghi and viruses, which includes the flu! This will decrease the length of any illness caused by viruses and bacteria.
Simply the best way to get vitamin D is from safe sun exposure. But this needs to be done on a daily basis with as much skin exposed to the sun.
Now this is not really appealing during the winter, even 5 minutes are a big challenge, let alone anything longer than that. So the next best thing is taking a vitamin D supplement. This should be vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). If you have liver or kidney problems, make sure that you read the section “Vitamin D supplements” in Vitamin D and Sunshine from Dr. Sarah Myhill.
Omega 3 Fats
Omega 3 fats, EPA & DHA, are essential in supporting your immune system as research has shown. They help us by providing a greater resistance to common illnesses as the flu.
Detox Your Body and Stay Hydrated
Drink as much water as possible each day to help flush out toxins and waste products. This actually helps to decrease the workload on the kidneys and improves your immune system.
Drinking a Nettle herbal tea will help you cleanse your body and blood and give some extra nutrition. Make sure you still drink extra water because Nettle has a drying effect on your body.
Check out our special Flu Prevention Packet. This packet will help your immune system keeping the flu at bay.
Vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins and is also known as Cobalamin. It is the most complex vitamin in the human body. It is essential for a range of healthy bodily functions including the production of red blood cells, the health of the nervous system, immune function and sperm production.
There is also evidence to suggest that Vitamin B12 reduces cancer risk and the chances of suffering from heart disease.
The fact that the body does not store this important substance efficiently means that to avoid the levels of Vitamin B12 depleting rapidly it must be regularly absorbed into the body from food.
Fortunately, research is uncovering various conditions and illnesses that are thought to be linked to a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Sources of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is found in quite a wide range of foods but because it is only produced by bacterial fermentation-synthesis, it is only found naturally in animal products.
It is commonly added to foods and is available as a supplement or as a vitamin B12 spray. Those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet can easily become deficient in vitamin B12 or they may absorb enough to avoid severe deficiency but not to protect against the risk of heart disease or dangerous complications during pregnancy.
For this reason vegetarians and vegans should be especially aware of their vitamin B12 intake. The body can safely take on high doses of vitamin B12 because any that is not needed can be either stored or excreted.
The following are sources rich in vitamin B12;
Lamb’s liver and pork liver are amongst the richest sources of vitamin B12. Lamb’s liver provides 85.7μg (1428% RDA) of vitamin B12 per 100g serving, a truly impressive vitamin B12 content.
Shellfish are another excellent source of vitamin B12, especially oysters, clams and mussels. These also provide other important substances such as zinc, copper and iron in significant amounts.
Clams contain 98.9μg per 100g serving, accounting for 1648% of the RDA. That is 84μg (1401% RDA) per 3 ounce serving, and 187.9μg (3132% RDA) in 20 small clams, or 9.4μg (156.6 %RDA) in one small clam!
Crab and lobster are also high in vitamin B12, not as high as clams etc but a 100g portion of crab contains 11.5μg of vitamin B12 (192% of the RDA).
Lobster can provide 4.04μg (67% RDA) per 100g serving, or 6.59μg (110% RDA) in an average whole lobster (163g).
There are many types of fish that provide substantial levels of vitamin B12.
Mackerel provides the most vitamin B-12 with 19μg per 100g serving (317% RDA),
followed by Herring (312% RDA),
Trout (130%), and Bluefish (104%).
Fish eggs (caviar) are also high in vitamin B12.
The eggs of white fish contain the most vitamin B-12 with 56.4μg (940% RDA) per 100g serving.
Caviar contains a third of that with 20μg (333% RDA) of vitamin B12 per 100g serving.
While octopus is more commonly found in traditional Mediterranean and eastern cooking, it is becoming more popular on a global level.
Octopus typically provides 36μg of vitamin B-12 per 100g serving accounting for 600% of the RDA.
The amount of vitamin B12 in beef depends on the cut you choose but the best choice in terms of vitamin B12 levels is lean chuck steak, followed by sirloin then rib-eye.
Lean lamb is a good source of vitamin B12 and also is a good source of protein and zinc. Lamb shoulder is the best cut of lamb for vitamin B12 levels.
As well as providing calcium and vitamin B2, cheese is a fairly good source of vitamin B12.
Swiss cheese provides the most with 3.34μg (56% RDA) per 100g serving,
followed by Gjetost (40% RDA),
Parmesan (38% RDA),
Tilsit (35% RDA), and Feta (28% RDA).
Chicken eggs are another fairly good source of vitamin B12 , the yolk has the highest level. Goose eggs and duck eggs have even higher levels of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Not getting enough vitamin B12 leads to a deficiency which causes the red blood cells that are produced to be larger than normal and unable to function properly.
This is more common in older people but can affect people of all ages.
Vitamin deficiencies often go unnoticed. Therefore it can be difficult to pinpoint the underlying cause of the wide ranging symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency;
Because vitamin B12 is of influence in so many systems in the body, the symptoms of a deficiency will be different for everyone.
Where one person in particular suffer from fatigue, tingling, memory loss and problems with muscle cramps, someone ells can be suffering from an inflamed tongue, menstruation complaints, trouble concentrating and depression.
The symptoms can also vary during the years.
- Weird feeling in the feet (feeling of walking on felt, wadding or pads; surface feeling is disturbed, under-sensitivity to pain; burning sensation on the skin)
- Tingling feeling (in the feet and hands and later in legs, arms, face “feels like being charged “; “ants walk”; also numbness in hands and feet, shaky hands, loss of control over your arms/legs)
- Concentration and memory problems (can’t think clearly, wadding head, drowsiness)
- Heavy and stiff feeling in the legs (pain in the hips)
- Fasciculaties /myokymieën (muscle vibrations; contraction of a small part of a muscle most common near the eye, but can be in other places of the body; involuntary movements, restless legs)
- Ataxia, loss of position (unstable / difficult walk, stumble; walking like being drunk until no longer able to walk; walking against things; unexplained fall; dropping things out of your hands; being clumsy)
- Aphasia (problems with speaking; using wrong words; can’t remember the right words; speaking with “double tongue”; “keyboard-aphasia”: swapping letters)
- Mental health problems:
“Short fuse” / irritability; Mood swings; Irrational to serious mental complaints
- Panic attacks and suicidal behaviour; Nervousness; Psychosis; Paranoia
- Dementia (memory loss); Depression; Confusion
- Fatigue (sometimes very tired)
- Drowsiness (need a lot of sleep, just fall asleep spontaneously)
- Lack of energy
- Discolorution around the knockles (skin is browner then the rest of your fingers)
- Glossitis (inflamed tongue; burning, painful or irritated tongue, especially among seasoned/spicy food, sour drinks and when brushing your teeth; inflamed and/or bloody gums; iron-/metal taste); Canker sores
- Tightness of chest (angineuze pains, palpitations, arrhythmias, accelerated heart rate, shortness of breath)
- Being cold (sometimes a burning sensation on the skin)
- Myalgia (muscle pain after exercise, is worse than before; sometimes muscle cramps; muscle weakness; strength loss)
- Pain (including back, hands, wrists, joints, hips and knees)
- Inflammation in the digestive system (up to bowel perforation)
- Nausea (no appetite, indefinable feeling in the stomach)
- Bowel complaints, diarrhoea (with some regularity)
- Derogatory reflexes
- Weight loss (loss of appetite, loss of taste/smell)
- Anaemia, sometimes little, often not; (fainting; dry skin; itching; yellowing eyes and skin; paleness; hyper pigmentation; spontaneous bruising; petechia)
- Problems with eyes (optic neuropathy, blurred vision, loss of visual field)
- Hearing problems (tinnitus, distorted sound),
- Hair loss
- Friable nails
- Hyper tone bladder (incontinent, even a little bit and/or weak bladder)
- Infections (vaginal-and an increased risk of urinary system infections)
- Menstrual problems (irregular, heavy, long, increased pain, sometimes no menstruation at all, error-positive PAP smear)
- Infertility/miscarriages, birth abnormalities; libido loss, impotence
- Young children with a deficit: growth and development is lagging behind, autistic behaviour
Who is most at risk from vitamin B12 deficiency?
Some groups of people are more at risk from vitamin B12 deficiency than others and the risk increases with age. The following groups should be especially vigilant for signs of a possible vitamin B12 deficiency;
Those with Atrophic Gastritis may have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 properly and so a supplement is often recommended to keep levels up.
Vegans and vegetarians may not get enough vitamin B12 because they do not consume animal products, supplements and foods with vitamin B12 added to them are recommended for those who avoid animal produce, especially during pregnancy when it more important than ever to have the right levels of vitamin B12 in the body.
People who are taking medications including Proton pump inhibitors, Metformin, Histamine antagonists, Bacteriostatic Antibiotics and anticonvulsants. Advice should always be taken from a medical professional if you are taking medication and think you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 and the Earth
The level of vitamin B12 in foodstuffs depends on how much nutrition the animal absorbs from the food it eats.
If vitamin and mineral levels in the earth are low, the animal then does not absorb as much and then we in turn do not absorb as much.
Intensive farming, chemicals and environmental damage all play a part in the depletion of nutrients in the soil and so farming techniques that take this into account will always produce better sources of vitamin B12 and other important nutrients.
Also there is the matter of the preventive vaccination the animals receive. The more we give this to the animals, the worse their general health will be, which in turn has his effect on the meat we eat.
Vitamin B12 and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition that experts are only really beginning to understand.
Sufferers experience widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disorders and depression. Many sufferers also have high levels of homocysteine and low levels of vitamin B12 (vitamin B12 reduces the level of homocysteine) and research now suggests a link between the two conditions.
Experts are researching how chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia could be successfully treated with vitamin B12 supplements.
Solutions to vitamin B12 Deficiency
The solutions to any vitamin deficiency are to increase the levels of that particular vitamin in your body.
For vitamin B12 deficiencies you can increase your intake of foods that are rich in vitamin B12, increase your intake of foods that have had vitamin B12 added to them or choose a supplement.
There are various supplements available, in various forms including injections. Research suggests that one of the most effective ways to take a supplement is in the form of a vitamin B12 spray.
Check with your health practitioner if you think you depleted with vitamin B12.