Betaine hydrochloride increases stomach acid to enhance digestion. HCl assists in protein digestion by activating pepsinogen to pepsin, renders the stomach sterile against orally-ingested pathogens, prevents bacterial or fungal overgrowth of the small intestine, encourages the flow of bile and pancreatic enzymes, and facilitates the absorption of several nutrients including folic acid, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, non-heme iron and some forms of calcium, magnesium and zinc.1 However, in the absence of adequate HCl, poor digestion can arise leading to bloating, belching, indigestion, and diarrhea or constipation.1,2 Numerous studies have shown acid secretion declines with advancing age3,4,5 and impaired HCl production and secretion is correlated with a variety of clinical conditions, including food allergies, asthma, diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis and arthritis.1,2 While the underlying etiological factors leading to impaired or absent HCl secretion are not well understood, long term supplementation is generally safe and may be effective in certain patient populations and clinical conditions.1 Combining betaine HCl with fenugreek further supports digestive function and health, as fenugreek seeds are an excellent source of mucilage, which helps soothe gastrointestinal inflammation by coating the lining of the stomach and intestine.
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