I feel like everyone always just recites what they've been told or read about the stomach acid problem. I've spoken to multiple GIs and I have yet to see one of them say anything about this. I've seen multiple GIs at Stanford, UCSF and some other hospitals. None of them seem to agree with what you guys say.
What I'm curious about is, are there any studies showing sodium increases stomach acidity? Is there anything showing AVC stimulates stomach acid like many say?
I'm not trying to be rude, I guess I just don't understand how it works. One would assume if salt was needed for stomach acid, then Americans would have plenty since salt is so plentiful. Yet the common saying around here is; more people have less stomach acid then too much. Yet, I bet people eat more acidic and salty foods now then they have in the past 100 years.
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http://chriskresser.com/heartburn Have you given this series a read? It's pretty in depth and quite well explained.
And i think there's a lot more to it than salt intake. A lot of the salt that americans are consuming is being consumed with tons of carbohydrates which contributes to the bacterial overgrowth thus less stomach acid etc (plus not to mention the PPIs they might be on). Also, as far as i know, ACV doesn't increase stomach acid. But it does relieve heartburn symptoms for a lot of people.
And with all due respect (and not to get political), but my impression of GI specialists is that they're trained/quite happy to push acid suppressing drugs forward whether they're aware of the problems they can cause or not.
And besides, how many people do you know would be happy if they went to a doctor for a heartburn problem, knowing that there's drugs to instantly relieve pain but the doctor refused them and instead gave them a lecture on how they should be eating a low/specific carb diet and living a more healthy lifestyle? They might mention that they should be eating better that's about all they have time for. I spoke to my GI specialist and she agreed that diet is the only way to permanently cure it (with exceptions to H pylori etc). Most people are content with taking a PPI and eating whatever they want. Unfortunately/fortunately i wasn't one of those lucky people which is what eventually led me to paleo and get rid of my GERD.
Now if you'll excuse me, i'm late for work :P
Book "Why Stomach Acid is Good for You" by Dr. Wright. Great explanation of why we are not making enough acid, how to supplement in the short term (to train your body to make more long term) and why doctors do not tell you all this basic and easy info. ACV or some supplemental hydrochloric acid help up to 90% of people in this MD's opinion. This doctor also addresses food although he is not full paleo.