Furthermore, the refining process alone removes over 60% of the minerals from grains. By the time it reaches the consumer table, the cooking reduces the nature given vitamins, enzymes and amino acids by 20% or more. People feel less satisfied eating the foods, adding more starches and increasing the size of the meals, which eventually leads to overeating and weight gain causing an additional stress on the digestive system.
Gastric acid. This is where the digestive disaster starts. Gastric acid is composed of hydrochloric acid (HCl), sodium chloride (NaCl) and potassium chloride (KCl). With help of parietal cells (a.k.a., oxyntic cells) the body produces and sustains a highly acidic environment after the high in protein foods are ingested. In the duodenum ( first section of the small intestine), the acid is neutralized by pancreas via secretion of sodium bicarbonate and food is further broken down with pancreatic secreted enzymes. The more gastric acid is produced, the more bicarbonate ions are needed to neutralize the hydrochloric acid of chyme.
The first signs of an imbalanced diet or high stress lifestyle. The consumption of foods that are difficult to digest and the chronic stress synergistically activate high levels of gastric acid production. As the body’s capability to neutralize the acids diminishes over time, an abdominal pain and peptic ulcers can be one of the first signs of a mineral deficiency. With time as the levels of gastric acid decrease, the presence of H.Pylori infection commonly found in vast majority of people, becomes a further contributing factor in reduced gastric acid secretions and stomach ulceration.
Stomach acid production and bicarbonate synthesis for stomach acid neutralization require a marked utilization of minerals. If the food is not minerally rich, such as that typical of “Western pattern diet”, the entire nutritional cycle will enter the stage of a gradual and unavoidable mineral depletion. The less minerals are available, and especially zinc, copper, boron, selenium and manganese, the weaker the thyroid function will become and the less gastric acid will be produced. Deficiency in gastric acid and affected enzymatic functions facilitate a further malabsorption, impairing the minerals assimilation. And the less mineral buffers are available within the body, the less carbonates will be available to counteract the acidic waste from metabolic processes.
The beginning stage and symptoms of tissue acidosis. The very first symptoms that come with mineral deficiency are usually associated with an underactive thyroid function that often causes diminished levels of energy, unrested sleep, excessive sleepiness in afternoons, insomnia and reduced gastric acid production. Gassiness, burping and heartburn after eating hard to digest foods are the most prominent symptoms of deficiency of gastric acid production.
Indigestion and misdiagnosis. A person coming to a doctor’s visit complaining of acid reflux and heartburn is generally prescribed acid suppression medications, such over the counter antacids or even proton pumps without measuring the actual gastric acid secretion. Long term usage of these so called “aids” wreaks a chaos on one’s digestive system leading to devastating and often irreversible consequences.
In reality, most cases of heartburn and burping are not a result of misdiagnosed high acid production but an insufficiency of gastric acid and thus indigestion. If not enough gastric acid is produced, the sphincter of ampulla (a.k.a., sphincter of Oddi) will not properly contract, allowing the gastric acids to escape into esophagus causing a heartburn. At the same time, the fermentation of foods caused by deficiency of gastric acid’s activated enzymes, creates gassiness that escapes through the inactivated sphincter of ampulla. The only way to eliminate the symptoms at this point is to increase the gastric acid production to restore the digestive process by activating the enzymes and thus contracting the sphincter.
The wrong approach. What is commonly done on the other hand to rectify the indigestion symptoms is completely counteractive to digestive process, and that is suppressing the digestion! Using antacids or H2 blockers to suppress the gastric acids deactivates the digestion process leading to malabsorption of ingested proteins and consequently the minerals and vitamins. Another mistakenly utilized method is drinking some water with a pinch of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) after meals, which indeed effectively relieves the heartburn at the expense of digestive process, and with repeated use can lead to serious consequences.
Find out how to check if your body is capable of effectively neutralizing the metabolic waste.