HCL—Hydrochloric Acid Deficiency

HCL—Hydrochloric Acid Deficiency

 For my entire practice I have dealt with patients suffering from HCL deficiency—BUT    think they have too much acid and take proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec or Nexium which cause malnutrition. Maalox, Mylanta and Tums also proton pump inhibitors are now “old school”

35 years of clinical experience has shown me 99% of patients suffering from indigestion, heartburn, belching, bloating etc. etc. etc.  are all due to>

Here are just a few symptoms:

  • Acne                       Inner Ear Infections
  • Eczema                 Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Asthma                  Rhinitis (Nasal Inflammation)
  • Diarrhea                 Candida (Yeast Infections)
  • Hay fever                Esophageal/Stomach Disorders
  • Dermatitis              General malabsorption of Nutrients
  • Gallstones              General Indigestion / Heartburn
  • Stomach ulcer       Acetaminophen-induced Liver Toxicity
  • Chronic hives        Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Food allergies        Thyroid Malfunction
  • Arteriosclerosis (hardening/loss of elasticity in the arteries)
  • Poor cognitive function and the onset of dementia
  • Low bone mineral density and osteoporosis
  • Leg and foot cramps because you are not absorbing minerals

How to fix it:

In the middle of your next solid meal, take one 200 mg dose of HCL. The response you are looking for is a warm sensation in your stomach, like if you just drank a cup of very hot tea. It is not going to feel as if you just drank napalm. It is unlikely you will feel any response to one capsule.

At each subsequent meal, increase the dose of HCL by one capsule/tablet until you can feel the warmth in your stomach. DO NOT EXCEED SEVEN CAPSULES (1400 mg HCL). If you do get an uncomfortable burning sensation from the HCL, just drink a glass of water. Don’t worry; in fact, if a small dose of HCL produces burning, it is not because you have adequate HCL at all. If HCL supplements produce burning it indicates rather that your mucosal barrier is damaged! The HCL is producing burning because the acid is burning exposed tissues.

Under normal, healthy circumstances, a person should be able to tolerate a lot of Betaine HCL. HCL only contains about 2-3% hydrogen. The clinical response that occurs with Betaine HCL supplementation is more due to the Betaine than from HCL!

The dose that produces a warm sensation indicates the degree of HCL deficiency (low stomach acid) that you have. If you need all seven capsules, you have severely low stomach acid—that is, your body should be producing nearly 1400 mg of HCL on its own, but isn’t. If you need just one capsule, you know your stomach is not producing quite enough acid, and now is the time to prevent a serious problem from developing. –


To treat low stomach acid, identify the amount of HCL needed to produce the warm sensation, subtract one capsule (200 mg) from that dose and take that amount at every meal.  Smaller meals might require less supplemental HCL and larger meals might require more.

Better yet, contact Dr. Princetta for a consultation at drprincetta.com or call 619-231-1778