*Betaine HCl & Pepsin: BioCare 90 capsules
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Bio Care HCL & Pepsin: Stomach Acid with added Pepsin - 9o Capsules
Bio-Care HCl & Pepsin is one of the suggested GAPS brands that meet the GAPS supplementation protocol criteria as outlined in the GAPS book.
Each Capsule Contains
200mg Betaine Hydrochloride
20mg Pepsin (providing 300NF Units) One NF Unit of pepsin activity digests 3000 times its own weight of coagulated egg albumen under standard conditions.
The recommended daily intake as per the bottle description is 3 capsules
600mg Betaine Hydrochloride
60mg Pepsin (providing 900NF Units)
BioCare Supplement Guidelines:
One capsule taken three times daily with food, or as professionally directed NB: HCL & Pepsin capsules should not be opened or chewed.
Betaine Hydrochloride, Potato Maltodextrin, Capsule Shell (Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose),, Bulking Agent (Cellulose), Anti-caking Agents (Vegetable Magnesium Stearate & Silicon Dioxide), Pepsin.The Pepsin is derived from porcine.
- If you are under medical supervision, please consult a doctor before use
- Caution is advised for individuals with colitis, gastritis or ulcerative conditions of the stomach/intestine.
GAPS ARTICLE: Supplementing Stomach Acid
People with abnormal gut flora almost without exception have low stomach acid production. Toxins produced by overgrowth of Candida species, Clostridia and other pathogens have a strong ability to reduce secretion of stomach acid. Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, recommends that GAPS patients supplement with stomach acid.The GAPS Criteria for supplementing Stomach Acid is proposed in the most physiological preparation on the market which is Betaine & added Pepsin providing 300-200mg of Betaine HCl and approximately 100mg of Pepsin. We encourage you to read the chapter on Digestive Enzymes in the GAPS book to understand this further. HCl & Pepsin and Betaine HCl are the targeted stomach acid boosters used for the GAPS protocol and the following discussion explains how Dr Natasha suggest these boosters best be used with an explanation on their differences.
What is the difference between HCl & Pepsin and Betaine HCl and which one should I take?
HCl & Pepsin works faster than Betaine HCl and should be supplemented for people who struggle to digest their food. It can be given when they have already eaten and have a full stomach already but it is best given at the beginning of the meal. HCl and Pepsin is not recommended for children or for individuals who cannot swallow capsules because the taste of acid will dominate and it can produces a burning in the throat and oesophagus. Older children who can swallow capsules can take one capsule at the beginning of the meal or when their stomach is full of food and they are not coping with it very well.
Betaine HCl is better for children because it produces less burning and can be supplemented on an empty stomach before the meal. This can be supplemented up to 15 minutes before the meal to stimulate stomach acid production before the arrival of food. If for whatever reason it makes the person feel uncomfortable, it should be supplemented at the beginning of the meal with the first mouthful.
Both above products are useful for dealing with reflux, acid indigestion and burping which are usually the result of an overgrowth to yeast and other parasites that can survive in the stomach due to low stomach acid production. Both products can be used interchangeably. People with severely low stomach will take a while before they are able to produce stomach acid on their own, so Dr Natasha recommends supplementing both (HCl & Pepsin as well as Betaine HCl) in these cases. This can be managed by using the HCl & Pepsin when the person is already eating or has a stomach full of food and Betaine HCl can be used when the person has a fairly empty stomach and is preparing for the meal. Betaine HCl can also be supplemented between meals in order to help empty the stomach for the next meal. Adults can simply swallow the capsule but children who can only take it in powder form (from opening the capsule) can supplement in-between meals with a tiny teaspoon of manuka honey (which is a good anti fungal agent for yeast overgrowth).
GAPS Dosage Suggestions (as per GAPS Book)
Stomach acid boosters such as both HCl & Pepsin and Betaine HCl should NOT be supplemented together with probiotics at the same time of day because the stomach acid in the HCl & Pepsin will destroy some of the good flora added by the Probiotic. Probiotics are essential and best taken first thing in the morning and last thing at night when the stomach acid is at its lowest and HCl stomach acid boosters are taken with main meals as described below.
Children will get a good source of stomach acid with daily amounts of sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice with every main meal, however for children who specifically suffer from reflux and excessive burping, a stomach acid booster is recommended in the GAPS protocol. Betaine HCl is a better choice for children under 6 or for those who struggle to swallow capsules. When HCl & pepsin capsules are open they can present an acid taste and produces a burning in the throat and oesophagus and that is why Betaine HCl is the choice for children because these capsules can be opened and sprinkled on food.
To determine the right dose of Betaine HCl for a child
Start from a small pinch of the powder added to the first mouthful of the meal. In two to three days, increase the dose to two pinches and so on. Betaine HCl can also be supplemented between meals in order to help empty the stomach for the next meal Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride reports that many parents see improvement in their child's stools in just a few days.
The dosage needs to be tested for each child, however Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride suggests the following:
18-24 months 1 pinch
2-3 years old 2-3 pinches
4-6 years old 1/2 capsule
6 and older ½ - 1 capsule
Children over 10 may need to follow adult dosages and if they are comfortable swallowing capsules, they can select HCl & Pepsin rather than Betaine HCl.
ADULTS AND OLDER CHILDREN
Adults and older children (who can swallow capsules) and who present with low stomach acid may need to supplement both HCl & Pepsin as well as Betaine HCl to regulate stomach acid. This can be managed by using the HCl & Pepsin when the person is already eating or has a stomach full of food. Betaine HCl can be used when the person has a fairly empty stomach and is preparing for the meal. Betaine HCl can also be supplemented between meals in order to help empty the stomach for the next meal. Take HCl and Pepsin if you have accidentally eaten a food that was not GAPS allowable.
To determine the right dose
Begin by taking one capsule at the start of the meal. Monitor how your stomach feels during and after eating. Should any burning or heaviness occur, or if burning has been present previously (before taking the supplement) and is now worsened with the use of the Betaine HCl, do not continue using this supplement (this is an indication that your stomach is overproducing acid, or that your stomach lining may be damaged as seen in cases such as ulcerative colitis). In such cases sauerkraut can be used as a daily staple condiment to aid in the digestion process.
If the first dose of Betaine HCl provided no noticeable stomach discomfort try taking two capsules at the start of your next meal; again, monitor for burning and or heaviness during and after eating. If taking two capsules produces some discomfort but, one capsule does not, restrict yourself to one capsule at the start of each meal. If the two capsules produced no discomfort try three capsules at the start of your next meal. If all goes well when taking three capsules at the start of each meal stay with that dosage. Most individuals will not require increasing the dosage to four or more capsules.
How can I monitor the above symptoms in a child who does not understand?
Unless the child can tell you, then you basically can’t really monitor these symptoms unless the burping is obvious and this is why Dr Natasha recommends that children take sauerkraut juice, sauerkraut or meat stock to assist in preparing the stomach for the arriving food. Sauerkraut is the strongest stimulant and best source of stomach acid for both adults and children with GAPS. Supplementing stomach acid will prepare the pancreas to produce its own enzymes as well as triggering bile secretion.
Sauerkraut and Sauerkraut juice as stomach acid
Once sauerkraut juice and sauerkraut have been introduced as per the instructions in the introductions diet and the patient is on full GAPS, the best time to supplement them is 10-15minutes before the meal to stimulate stomach acid and prepare the stomach to digest the oncoming meal. Fermented cabbage juice and a helping of fresh cabbage are also good sources to stimulate stomach acid and can be used, however the fermented forms will be more bio-available and per-digestible whilst providing not only stomach acid but probiotic food as well.
How long will I need to take Betaine HCl with added Pepsin?
Regular use of supplemental hydrochloric acid will, in most cases, "re-train" the stomach to produce higher concentrations of acid on its own. This process may take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on the individual. The most significant indication that acid production is improving is that Betaine HCl supplementation can no longer be comfortably tolerated. As the gut begins to heal, you need to start reducing the amount of stomach acid supplementation taking them only with heavy meals or when you have eaten a non GAPS allowable food that will possibly cause a problem.
What Brands are suitable for GAPS?
Dr Natasha uses the following brands in her clinic.
- Higher Nature Betaine HCl
- BioCare HCl & Pepsin
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