2

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How to know if need Digestive Enzymes/Hydrochloric Acid?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 13, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Robb Wolf and Charles Poliquin seem to frequently recommend digestive enzymes, particularly ones with hydrochloric acid such as Now Foods Super Enzymes. How do we know if we need to take these? My stools look good with no food chunks and I dont have bloating or gas if I avoid foods Im sensitive to (eggs, gluten, preservatives, dairy.) However, my neurotransmitters are a bit low and my testosterone is on the low side. I also have high anxiety which Ive read can lower hydrochloric acid. I bought one bottle of the Now Foods and did the test of adding one pill mid meal up to 6 pills and never felt the heat. But like I said I never get bad stools or an upset stomach. Im a fairly lean and active guy in his 30s, been Paleo for over a year.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on February 07, 2011
at 03:17 PM

My coach told me to take them at the beginning or in the middle. I've heard other very knowledgeable people say they take them after the meal. So I have no idea. =( I generally stick to beginning or middle, mostly so I don't forget. I'm not sure what you should do about how many pills, but I was wary of taking so many, so I just decided on 5 as an arbitrary number. I think Robb did something similar recently. So, you'll have to make your own decisions on this. I don't think there's any rock-solid evidence out there either way.

11db3c833e062fa16d0c45db2e9496c6

(55)

on February 07, 2011
at 11:34 AM

I have been up to 8 and still don't feel any heat. When do you think is optimal to take the tablets? Currently, I take them in the middle of eating my meal. Do you think I should try what you've done, cut back to 5?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 15, 2010
at 05:24 PM

Well, you could keep upping the dose. The only other factor I've heard people tinker with is the timing. You could possibly try waiting until after, or up to 30(?) minutes after eating. Or even better: try one on an empty stomach. If you get a response, eat right away. At least you'll know for sure what it feels like. If you don't get a response, I don't know. That would seem weird.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on October 14, 2010
at 09:07 PM

The capsules...

  • B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

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4 Answers

best answer

4
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on October 14, 2010
at 01:21 PM

I thought my digestion was perfect but was never able to gain weight despite eating to excess for a long time (and lifting heavy). My coach suggested I add digestive enzymes and I started gaining weight. To me, that suggests that my digestion was not perfect previously. I went up to 7 pills and did not feel any heat, so I just cut back to 5 per meal. Gained about 20 lbs. and hope to gain about 20 more.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on February 07, 2011
at 03:17 PM

My coach told me to take them at the beginning or in the middle. I've heard other very knowledgeable people say they take them after the meal. So I have no idea. =( I generally stick to beginning or middle, mostly so I don't forget. I'm not sure what you should do about how many pills, but I was wary of taking so many, so I just decided on 5 as an arbitrary number. I think Robb did something similar recently. So, you'll have to make your own decisions on this. I don't think there's any rock-solid evidence out there either way.

11db3c833e062fa16d0c45db2e9496c6

(55)

on February 07, 2011
at 11:34 AM

I have been up to 8 and still don't feel any heat. When do you think is optimal to take the tablets? Currently, I take them in the middle of eating my meal. Do you think I should try what you've done, cut back to 5?

3
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 14, 2010
at 04:04 AM

If my digestion was good (and it is) then I would not mess with it. Why try to fix something that isn't broken? A healthy body produces sufficient enzymes and acid to do the job right. Extra enzymes may not hurt, but I would definitely not mess with the stomach acid for no good reason. Personally, I'd rather take any money I would spend on enzymes and acid and put that towards better food or something fun. I think these kinds of crutches are for sick people whose bodies need extra help doing basic functions like digestion. YOu don't sound at all like you are in that category.

2
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 14, 2010
at 06:22 PM

Did you try the tablets or the capsules? I once tried tablets and didn't feel heat at 6, which was as high as I dared go, but I felt heat with a single capsule.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on October 15, 2010
at 05:24 PM

Well, you could keep upping the dose. The only other factor I've heard people tinker with is the timing. You could possibly try waiting until after, or up to 30(?) minutes after eating. Or even better: try one on an empty stomach. If you get a response, eat right away. At least you'll know for sure what it feels like. If you don't get a response, I don't know. That would seem weird.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on October 14, 2010
at 09:07 PM

The capsules...

1
F460d307a534aab6438a0a8c971a4e5b

on April 06, 2012
at 04:23 PM

Take acid at the end of your meal, just think when you eat food then PH lowers from the pancreatic enzymes that are released first and that is when you should take the enzymes with out acid, I think the best I have seen is metagenics version called Spectrazyme and then right before your last bit of food throw in HCI acid ( again my favorite is Metagest) and that would mimic when the gut would also start increasing acid at the end of the meal or 20 minutes after you started your first bite.

With Metagest most pills I have seen that needs to be taken is 6 per meal and then just keep that dose for a couple of weeks and the gut will start making more acid.

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