Saskatoon Health Food Expert – Rose Marie Peirce, B.Sc. Pharm.

How to Test for Low Stomach Acid & Supplement

with Betaine HCI

This test is useful for assessing the integrity of the

stomach lining and the amount of Hydrochloric Acid

(HCI) produced by the stomach. Betaine HCI is a

stomach acid supplement. The body responds to

acid supplementation by producing more acid of its

own. Following the full program will help teach your

body how to produce it’s own acid.

Each person will have a specifi c initial supplementary

Betaine HCI dosage, use the blow method to

discover yours:

  1. Eat a complete meal containing at least 15-20

grams of protein (eg. 4-6 ounces of meat or other

protein). Start by taking 1 capsule (500mg) of Betaine

HCI during the beginning of that meal.

  1. Observe your body for the next 15 minutes or

until the meal is fi nished. Look for gentle burning

(heat) in the throat/chest, or a slight pain or

heaviness in the upper stomach region, below the


  1. Increase the number of caps at the protein meal

y 1 per day, until you reach the fi rst sign of discomfort

as described in step #2.

  1. When this happens, the ideal Betaine HCI dosage

is 1 capsule less. For example, if you felt the

discomfort going from 4 caps to 5 caps, then 4 caps

is the proper dosage for a normal meal.

  1. Do not exceed 5 capsules per meal, even if you

are not experiencing burning.

  1. Continue with this does until it too begins to

cause burning. Once this does causes burning,

reduce the dose by 1 capsule and continue with


  1. Reduce the does by 1 capsule every time burning

occurs until you no longer require the Betaine HCI.

  1. Small meals or snacks do not require as many

Betaine HCI capsules as large meals. (for a small

snack, such as a piece of fruit, you won’t need any

at all)

  1. If you forget to take your Betaine HCI capsules,

the will still be effective if taken 2 hours or more

after eating.

  1. As digestion improves, the amount of HCI

supplements will be lowered until fi nally a person

wouldn’t require them any longer unless under

extreme stress or in times of overeating.

CAUTION: Do not use Betaine HCI if you have

diffi culty swallowing, gastric ulcers, esophageal

damage, or a nervous system condition that may

prevent you from feeling a burning sensation.

People that are “high risk” shouldn’t take Betaine

HCI without supervision or if consuming any antiinfl

ammatory drugs (ie: corticosteroids, aspirin,

indocid, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or other NSAIDs).

These drugs can damage the

GI lining and supplementing

with HCI could aggravate it,

increasing the risks of bleeding

or ulcer.

RoseMarie Pierce, B. Sc.

Pharm, earned her degree

in Pharmacy from Dalhousie

University in 1972. After

extensive studies in herbal

and nutritional medicine,

RoseMarie integrated these

disciplinary practises with her

pharmacy education to become

Canada’s fi rst Holistic