Betain supports a high acid environment

Viridian Betaine HCl with Gentian Root 650mg 90 Capsules

  • £20.65

What is Betaine Hydrochloride and Gentian?

Clearly, the stomach is a key player in the human digestive system. It produces hydrochloric acid and enzymes to ensure the adequate breakdown and absorption of nutrients from food. The high acid (low pH) environment in the stomach also has a secondary function in preventing digestive infections from microorganisms, which may enter the digestive tract through food and airborne sources. Further, stomach acid digests protein and reduces their potential for causing food allergies and sensitivities.

Therefore in cases of low stomach acid production (hypochlorydia) there is increased susceptibility to indigestion, nutrient malabsorption, digestive infections and food sensitivities. Importantly, low stomach acid has been associated with a wide range of symptoms

Betaine hydrochloride (HCl) is a commonly used digestive aid, specifically for low stomach acid. When taken in a capsule, betaine HCl acidifies gastric fluid by dissociating into free betaine and hydrochloric acid, thus lowering gastric pH (i.e. increasing gastric acidity).

Another remedy for low stomach acid is the roots of Gentian (Gentiana lutea), a yellow flowering plant commonly found in the mountain regions of central and south Europe, which are a very popular traditional digestive remedy. Gentian has been shown directly stimulate acid production via the gastric mucosa.2 Thus betaine HCl and Gentian would be considered a logical combination for increasing stomach acid and improving digestive health.



is the insufficient production of gastric acid in the stomach which in turn may lead to poor digestion and malabsorption of food. The acid environment of the stomach ensures the correct digestion of macronutrients as well as the absorption and assimilation of vitamins and minerals. Therefore long term, low stomach acid has shown to cause nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin B12 and iron.3 Hypochlorhydria symptoms may include; feeling unusually full after small or moderate-sized meals, belching, flatulence, morning diarrhoea, diarrhoea after heavy meals, constipation, indigestion, and a sensation that food sits for a long time in the stomach.

Hypochlorydia may also lead to bacterial overgrowth in the digestive system as the lack of acidic environment allows pathogenic bacteria to grow and invade. This is seen in studies where subjects are treated with proton pump inhibitors, which block natural gastric acid production.

Supplementation with a single dose of betaine HCl has been shown to re-acidify the stomach in volunteers with hypochlorydia In this study a single dose of 1500mg decreased gastric pH on average from pH 5 to 1, with a gastric pH <3 achieved on average for 73 minutes. A small clinical study found that using a supplement to acidify the stomach relieved indigestion and excessive gas and reduced signs of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Another study found that supplementation could reduce bacterial overgrowth. Extensive clinical use has found that one to three 650mg capsules of betaine HCl taken just before a meal will help to improve digestion and can relieve symptoms of hypochlorhydria.

Gentian contains the bitter glycosides, which have shown to stimulate the secretion of saliva in the mouth as well as hydrochloric acid in the stomach. In one study, people with various dyspeptic symptoms (heartburn, vomiting, stomach aches, nausea, loss of appetite, constipation, flatulence) were treated with capsules containing gentian root 2-3 times daily for 15 days. Improvements in symptoms were evident after five days in most cases and by the end of the study the average level of improvement was 68%. The efficacy of the preparation was assessed by the doctors as excellent (symptoms eliminated) in 31% of patients, good in a further 55%, moderate in 9% and inadequate in only 5% of cases


Can Betaine hydrochloride and Gentian help with INTESTINAL INFECTIONS?

Gastric acid plays an important role in maintaining a sterile environment, preventing infection from parasites and pathogens, which may enter the digestive tract from the external environment. Therefore in cases of low stomach acid there is an increased risk of enteric infections.11 Supplementation with betaine hydrochloride therefore may reduce the risk of gastric infection by lowering pH levels in the stomach.

Gentian may also exhibit anti-bacterial actions within the digestive tract. In vitro studies using gentian root inhibited Helicobacter pylori, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans.

Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) has also been linked to low stomach acid levels in those taking antacid medication. In this study, after six months of antacid medication subjects complained of a number of symptoms including diarrhoea, bloating and flatulence, and a significant number of patients met Rome III criteria for irritable bowel syndrome. Increasing stomach acidity with betaine HCl may reduce bacterial overgrowth in people with hypochlorhydria.

Can Betaine HCL and Gentian help with ALLERGIES ?

Low stomach acid may result in the incomplete digestion of macronutrients, including proteins, this in turn has been linked to the development of allergies.16 The poor digestion of protein increases the potential of protein to bind to IgE increasing the probability stimulating an allergic reaction. For example, it was found that 80% of children suffering from asthma had a deficiency in gastric acid in comparison to healthy children. There has even been a significant link made between the development of childhood asthma in women taking antacids during pregnancy.19 Treatment with betaine HCl and allergen avoidance may help to reduce symptoms in asthmatics.

One capsule provides:

Ingredient Weight %EC NRV
Betaine HCl (hydrochloride) 650mg
Gentian root powder (Gentiana lutea) 50mg
Hydroxypropylmethyl-cellulose capsule   100mg