The Truth About Antacids
Is your Calcium Supplement in the Correct Form? – The truth about antacids.
By Dr. Erik J. Rosseland, D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic)
There is more calcium in the human body than all the other minerals combined. In every tissue it is the mineral of strength and form but to be utilized by our bodies it must be in the right form. More calcium supplements are sold than any other mineral, but most of it is not absorbed from the GI tract into the blood.
Much of the calcium in supplements is sold in the form of calcium carbonate; that is LIMESTONE. I don’t consider limestone to be food yet it is put in powder form and put in bottles and sold to us. The only way our bodies can use the calcium (or the magnesium) in the limestone is to break it down with the hydrochloric acid in our stomach and form calcium (and magnesium) chloride. Through many steps we can get to a form of calcium our bodies can use but we have lost our hydrochloric acid. The hydrochloric acid is worth more than the calcium (or magnesium) we gained. It’s not a great idea to eat stone but many are doing just that. The only form of calcium our body can utilize is calcium bicarbonate. Through about 12 chemical reactions our body can convert that calcium carbonate to the useful calcium bicarbonate but as I said the HCl (hydrochloric acid) we lost was more valuable than the calcium we gained. A very useful form of calcium is calcium lactate. It changes to calcium bicarbonate (the type used by the body) in one chemical step. So why can’t we just take calcium bicarbonate tablets? You can’t make calcium bicarbonate tablets because as soon as you start drying the bicarbonate it changes to calcium carbonate. So calcium lactate is the closest we can come.
Now a quick note on antacids. The antacid is very poor biochemistry as it neutralizes one of the most important of all body secretions, hydrochloric acid, so hydrochloric acid products run in contradiction to one of the most popular drugs of the modern era. We need hydrochloric acid as well as pepsin for digestion. Pepsin, an important enzyme of the stomach, is most active at a pH of 2 or 3 (which is very acidic) and is completely inactive at a pH above about 5. HCl is secreted at a pH of about 0.8 but by the time it mixes with the stomach contents and other secretions the pH ranges from 2 to 3, which as we said is a very favorable range for pepsin activity. Pepsin is capable of digesting essentially all the different types of protein in the diet. In a person with a low stomach pH (partially from taking calcium carbonate supplements and antacids?) ingested meats are not broken down or digested fully and they actually start to rot creating acids of fermentation which can cause discomfort. Then a person takes an antacid which starts the process all over again. So for this person we have to break this cycle and restore their stomach to the proper pH.
I would like to credit the Clinical Reference Guide (12/96) for information found in this article. I hope you are finding this information helpful and alarming.
BY: Soul Purpose Chiropractic