Indigestion, Antacids, Enzymes and Digestive Health

Doctor Andy’s Wellness Corner
By: Andy Marrone, D.C.
Clinic Director,
Redmond Ridge Chiropractic

Indigestion –  Enzymes vs. Antacids

Antacids

It is now estimated that the sale of antacids in the U.S. has reached over $8 million a year. Antacids are used by some people on a daily basis for the symptoms of acid indigestion and its accompanying gas and bloating. These products are designed to give temporary relief or to cover up symptoms. The do absolutely nothing to improve your ability to digest food. In fact they do just the opposite; they hinder the digestion of food. Advertisements stating they are an excellent source of calcium fail to tell you that only a balanced diet and good digestion will allow you to fully utilize calcium. In fact according to “The Calcium Myth” (written by Susan Brown, PhD.), calcium is best absorbed when it is contained in food. The best sources of calcium are spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and kale, not milk.

Animal Enzymes and Stomach Acid

Health food stores, some pharmacies and even food stores now carry products such as Pancreatin or Hydrochloric acid supplements (HCl) to aid digestion.
Pancreatin or pancreatic enzymes are either bovine (found in beef) or procine (found in pigs). By their nature, these enzymes are not active in the mouth or the stomach as the enzymes contained in your food or in your saliva glands. They cannot change symptoms of indigestion, gas and bloating.

Another misconception about digestion is that Hydrochloric acid digests food. This is not true. Hydrochloric acid capsules and tablets cannot replace the Hydrochloric acid in made in your stomach.

What is the answer?

We are very fortunate to live in this era of scientific advancement and health awareness. One area of nutritional science that has lagged behind until recently was the understanding of the importance of enzyme nutrition. If you suffer from indigestion, irritable bowel, gas or bloating, see a certified enzyme specialist such as Andy Marrone, D.C., at Redmond Ridge Chiropractic.