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Alternative Medicine/betaine HCL - stomach acid


Hi... I've been taking tmg / betaine as prescribed by my nutritionist for years. I'm currently 11 weeks pregnant ... An still taking... She told me it was safe . I've been reading conflicting things. Can you share any knowledge on the topic ? Thank you

betaine hcl
betaine hcl  
Are you digesting normally? When to take and avoid digestive nutritional supplements

Dear Linda:

Your question was:
"Hi... I've been taking tmg / betaine as prescribed by my nutritionist for years. I'm currently 11 weeks pregnant ... An still taking... She told me it was safe . I've been reading conflicting things. Can you share any knowledge on the topic ? Thank you"

Dr. Wald's response:
Without having you as my patient I cannot tell you definitively that you should take or not take betaine supplements. Betaine, along with HCL (hydrochloric acid), is a readily available digestive aid available in most health food stores. Store-bought Betaine/HCL usually come together in a single supplement, but you should know that supplements available in health food stores are often of inferior quality compared to those available from trained health care providers. Whether you are pregnant or not there are a few important things that you and everyone should know about taking Betaine/HCL supplementation:

- They should be taken with foods when properly prescribed.

- Different people require individualized dosages. I employ what I call a "stomach acid loading test" to determine individual dosages and I test several important lab tests to help me further evaluate the use and benefits and optimal dosages of Betaine/HCL. The tests include, but are not limited to, total protein, uric acid, serum chloride, serum globulin, A/G ratio, BUN, ionized calcium and others.

- Stomach acid for protein absorption, to kill parasites, bacteria and fungi that are in our food supply. Those with low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) or no stomach acid (achlorhydria) are more susceptible to infectious agents in our foods making their way into our bodies causing all sorts of health issues - often missed by traditionally trained doctors including gastroenterologists. Strangely, GI doctors have no training in the use of Betaine/HCL.

- Without proper stomach acid levels, which decline by the way because of many reasons (i.e., aging, medications, stress, autoimmune diseases, excessive alcohol consumption, etc.) one can fall victim to accelerated aging, sickness and disease.

- Betaine/HCL is required to activate (ionize) calcium otherwise it is not utilized properly (no matter how much calcium one consumes), remove B12 from proteins in our foods, digest proteins, balance healthy bacteria in our intestinal tract, zinc, iron and copper absorption and to reduce the absorption of heavy metals such as aluminum and mercury in the body.

- Betaine/HCL is needed for an important and fundamental healing process in the body known as methylation along with activated forms of B6 (pyridoxine HCL), methylfolic acid and methylated B12.

Anyone who is deficient in stomach acid (betaine/HCL) should take the properly determined daily dose of stomach acid. If a person requires stomach acid they almost certainly are deficient in many of the nutrients that I have mentioned above and potentially others - even if blood levels of these nutrients appear normal! In other words, there are many ways to determine a need for various nutrients other than measuring their blood levels. Blood levels of most nutrients only reflect intake of that supplement over the last 1-3 days or so.

A nutritional interpretation of blood work (using my Blood Detective technology ( helps determine if one absorbs nutrients, needs stomach acid and unmasks other health issues - especially along with a careful medical and health history, consultation and other functional tests (more my longevity program at:

The only stomach acid supplement that I recommend is the one that I have designed found here called Betaine HCL:

As with any supplement digestive aid one must only take what is needed. In the case of betaine/HCL it should never be taking by someone with esophagitis, gastritis or ulcers. There are other contraindications as well depending upon the individual.

I hope that this information was useful for you Linda.

Good luck and the best of health during and after your pregnancy.

The Blood Detective
Dr. Michael Wald, DC, MD, MS
Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco
495 E. Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY 1549

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I can provide answers to questions on: - Any area of health and disease treatment and prevention ranging from allergies, to immunity, weight loss, to diabetes, cancer and longevity. - I can provide scientific resources in all areas of health and science. - I can provide specific dietary advice and answer questions regarding the use and/or validity of nutritional supplements - I can discuss medical and laboratory (testing) technologies for early diagnosis. I am nicknamed the, Blood Detective based on knowledge and reputation to find health problems missed by other doctors.


My background allows me to provide answers to health questions in virtually all areas from disease prevention to treatments. I provide science and have many patients who would willingly lend themselves for interviews. I have an active holistic/alternative medicine clinic in Westchester, New York. We provide dietary advice, recommend nutritional supplements and provide intravenous nutrition (i.e, intravenous vitamin C, etc.) and advanced testing in our impressive office. I have appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Fox 5 News, CNN, The Food Network and local news programs. I can provide accurate information to you quickly and provide scientific support on all materials. I have written several books the latest on Longevity that will be published in 2013.

The International & American Association of Clinical Nutritionists The American Holistic Medical Association

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I have an MD degree (MD) A chiropractic degree (DC) Two board-certifications in nutrition (DACBNs) I am a dietician-nutritionist (CDN) A certified nutritional specialist (CNS) A certified clinical nutritionist (CCN)

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I have been in active clinical practice since 1991. During this time I have treated a wide-range of health issues including but not limited to: - health prevention and longevity (people who are well, but want to live long and disease-free lives) - immune diseases including: diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, lupus, thyroid disease, intestinal issues, hormonal issues, etc. - My patients would be happy to be interviewed to support any story, written or televised.

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