Supplement Spotlight: Bio-Gest
Saturday, November 19, 2011
LifeTime WeightLoss in Cindi Lockhart, Digestive Health, Nutrition, supplements

Written by Cindi Lockhart, RD, LD - Weight Loss Coaching Program Manager

What is Bio-Gest ®Bio-Gest ® is a comprehensive blend of digestive enzymes which assist in nutrient digestion, absorption, and use as fuel for our bodies.  It is a blend of hydrochloric acid (HCL), pancreatin, pepsin, and ox bile.  HCL is in essence stomach acid, which is essential for proper digestion of proteins, not to mention, protection against the invasion of bacteria, fungus, and other pathogens in our digestive system.  Pancreatin is a blend of several pancreatic digestive aids to assist with the breakdown and use of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  Pepsin’s is necessary for adequate protein digestion.  Ox bile assists with the breakdown of and absorption of fats.  This product is free of all common allergens and artificial ingredients.

How does Bio-Gest® impact one’s healthWith HCL’s critical impact on the digestion and absorption of nutrients, inadequate secretion can lead to nutrient deficiencies which negatively affects one’s metabolism and overall health.  HCL is also imperative to kill off orally-consumed pathogens, preventing their invasion in our stomach and intestinal system.  Many studies have shown HCL levels decline with age and when under stress, which impacts one’s risk for several health conditions.  In fact, it is estimated that 30% of US men above 60 years of age have little to no HCL secretion[i] and 40% of postmenopausal women have no HCL secretion. [ii]  Without sufficient HCL, protein cannot be broken down and absorbed. If the body does not get sufficient absorption of protein, it can lead to a loss of lean body mass and reduced bone density. It has been documented that the following health conditions are associated with low HCL production:  anemia, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, auto-immune disorders, depression, eczema, hyper or hypothyroidism, psoriasis, rosacea, Sjogrens’ disease, ulcerative colitis, and gastritis. [iii] [iv] [v] [vi]

Who would benefit from taking Bio-Gest® ? Certain signs and symptoms may suggest inadequate HCL secretion.  Sharp et al found 80% of patients with no HCL secretion experienced sore, burning, dry mouths, heartburn, excess gas, general fatigue, bloating after eating, nausea after taking nutrition supplements, and feeling full for a prolonged time after eating. [vii]  Some other potential signs of inadequate HCL secretion include multiple food allergies, abnormal intestinal flora, chronic candidiasis or intestinal parasites, iron deficiency, post-adolescent acne, as well as weak, peeling, cracked fingernails. [viii]  In addition to the signs and symptoms of HCL deficiency, those with the above mentioned health conditions would benefit from trialing HCL supplementation.

Recommended dosage: Start with 1 capsule right after each of 3 main meals.  If you don’t feel a “warm feeling” in your stomach, increase to 2 capsules after the next meal.  You may need to increase dosage each meal until you feel the “warm feeling”.  Once you feel the “warm feeling” in your stomach, decrease the dosage by 1 capsule and continue at that dosage until you feel the “warm feeling” again, then decrease dosage again.

Potential contraindications: Bio-Gest® should not to be used if individuals are on H2 blocking drugs or proton pump inhibitors (Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet, Axid, Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Protonix, Aciphex) as they work to block HCL production.  It is also not recommended in individuals with a diagnosed peptic or duodenal ulcer.

[i] Krasinksi, SD, et al. Fundic atrophic gastritis in an elderly population.  Effect on hemoglobin and several serum nutritional indicators.  J Am Geriatr Soc 1986; 34: 80-806.

[ii] Grossman, MI, et al. Basal and histalog-stimulated gastric secretion in control subjects and in patients with peptic ulcer or gastric cancer.  Gastroenterology 1963; 45: 15-26.

[iii] Murray M, Pizzorno J. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing; 1991:51.

[iv] DeWitte TJ, et al. Hypochlorhydria and hypergastrinaemeia in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 1979; 38: 14-17.

[v] Ayers S. Gastric secretion in psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis herpetiformis. Arch Dermatol Syph 1929; 20: 854-857.

[vi] Dotevall G, Walan A. Gastric secretion of acid and intrinsic factor in patients with hyper-and hypothyroidism. Acta Med Scand 1969; 186: 529-533.

[vii] Sharp, GS, Fister HW. The diagnosis and treatment of achlorhdria: ten-year study.  J Amer Ger Soc 1967; 15: 786-791.

[viii] Wright, JV. Treatment of childhood asthma with parenteral vitamin B12, gastric re-acidification, and attention to food allergy, magnesium and pyridoxine.  Three case reports with background and an integrated hypothesis.  J Nutr Med 1990; 1: 277-282.

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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