If you’ve ever had heartburn and thought it was the result of either drinking too much coffee, eating spicy food or wearing tight fitting clothes, then you could be about to be proved wrong. Heartburn can in fact be triggered by a very low salt diet.
Over the last three decades there’s been a lot of, often incorrect, information regarding the consequences to your health of eating too much salt – prompting the nation to limit their salt intake. However, the implications of having too little salt are often overlooked – such as potentially not producing enough hydrochloric acid in your stomach for it to function properly.
Salt plays a key role in the processes of digestion and absorption as it’s salt that’s used by our bodies to produce hydrochloric acid. And without the right amount of salt, our bodies cannot produce enough digestive acid in the stomach. This can result in proteins and minerals are not breaking down and leading to a nasty acid burp, acid reflux or heartburn.
As this tastes, smells and burns just like acid we have been schooled into thinking that is an over production of acid, when in reality it’s the opposite.
So the next time you feel heartburn coming on, try sucking on a lemon or taking a tea spoon of cider vinegar – if this alleviates heartburn then your stomach isn’t producing enough acid.
Damon Davis: What about just simple stuff? Arthritis? People watching right now that are on Nexium and a whole host of other pills because their digestive tract is messed up and everything else that’s going on there.
Dr. Joel Wallach: Ok. Well, Nexium is the worst possible thing you can take. If you have reflux it really should be called lactic acid reflux – because what happens is when you don’t have enough stomach acid, you stomach environment is not sterile. Stomach acid has many, many functions – one of which is to sterilize your stomach environment. Nothing will grow in there when it’s acidic.
Now if you’re doing things to alkalize yourself, which many people go out of their way to do, and you’re avoiding salt, which is the raw material your stomach uses to make acid – that’s one of the bad things about avoiding salt, you don’t make enough stomach acid. Chloride from the Sodium Chloride makes Hydrochloric Acid, okay? And so what happens is your PH gets up around four or five – kind of between 1 and neutral and yeast and bacteria will grow in there. That’s about the PH of vinegar. For every time you eat something that has carbohydrates or sugars in it, they’re gonna start fermenting easily. You’ll get gas, bloating, reflux..
Damon Davis: So, the issues of bloating, the issues of acid reflux which doesn’t really exist, all could be solved if we just understood some of the basics?
Dr. Joel Wallach: Salt your food. “But wait a minute! My doctor says I can’t use salt because it causes high blood pressure!”
Damon Davis: That’s exactly what the studies suggest…
Dr. Joel Wallach: Well, it’s failed medical theory. Obesity is not caused by eating too much and lack of exercise!
Damon Davis: But that’s what they say!
Dr. Joel Wallach: That’s right, but following that hundred-year old theory we became the number 1 obese nation in the world. So, that theory was a failed theory because following it and adhering to it – trying to eat less and exercising more we became the number one obese nation in the world – so that’s a failed theory.
It turns out that being obese is a simple nutritional deficiency.
The standard medical take on acid indigestion – Acid Reflux Disease – is that it is caused by too strong, too much stomach acid, and the standard treatment is over-the-counter antacids or in extreme cases the new very strong antacids that can be obtained by prescription only.
But Dr. Joel Wallach, a naturopathic physician and nutritional expert of great renown, says that is wrong. He says it’s just the opposite, that it’s caused by too little or too weak stomach acid. Too little or too weak stomach acid results in incomplete digestion, especially of carbohydrates and sugars which then ferment in the stomach, and the resulting gases burp the stomach acid up past the cardiac sphincter into the esophagus where, even though it is weak by stomach acid standards, it is still strong enough to cause burning.
Dr. Wallach is a leading expert on the causes and natures of diseases, especially their relationships to nutrition, specifically nutritional deficiencies. He says the answer is more and stronger stomach acid rather than less and weaker. He also says it helps to avoid carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates and sugars, and to use salt, Sodium Chloride (NaCl) because the chlorine (Cl) from the NaCl is a component used in the making of Hydrochloric Acid (HCl).
It will also help to not take your minerals in dry form or liquid colloidal form because these have to be digested by the stomach acid in order to be absorbed into the bloodstream. When minerals have to be ionized by stomach acid, especially calcium, they will raise the alkalinity of the stomach acid which in turn will lower the alkalinity of the minerals, thereby compromising both. This is a dangerous proposition, especially for older people, who don’t produce enough stomach acid anyway.
In addition to degraded digestion, reduced stomach acid leads to the proliferation of heliobacter pylori, a bacteria which, when it becomes too abundant in the stomach, has been cited as a factor leading to stomach cancer.
Furthermore, the stomach acid will compromise the alkalinity of the minerals, which is bad because you need all the alkalinity you can get and alkalinity is one of the primary functions of minerals in the first place.