Those of you who have read Listen To Your Gut, know that I don’t think too highly of Peter D’Adamo’s book, Eat Right 4 Your Type. Well, I recently came across this brilliant review of D’Adamo’s book that fully outlines why the science in his book is a just a tad “hinky”.

But the real bonus contained in this book review by Sally Euclaire Osborne MS, is the excellent information she imparts on:

  • How to resolve hydrochloric acid (HCL) deficiency
  • Allergies and Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Gelatin’s amazing ability to heal the intestinal lining

Those of you who have my book, The IBD Remission Diet, know that bone broths (which contain very high levels of gelatin) are a crucial component of the Diet. When I write the 2nd edition of The IBD Remission Diet I will include an entire section on exactly why and how bone broths (and gelatin) contribute to healing the gut and the whole body.

But for now, here are the really pertinent excerpts from Osborne’s book review article on gelatin, HCL deficiency and Leaky Gut Syndrome:

Why are people so short of HCl? For the body to manufacture HCl, it needs ample supplies of protein and zinc, ingredients that are in short supply in the popular low protein/high carbohydrate vegetarian and near vegetarian diets so popular today. Low HCl levels lead people to eat less meat (because they have trouble digesting it), which, in turn, leads to still lower HCl production. Once this cycle is set in motion, declining health is inevitable.

The problem colloquially known as “leaky gut” syndrome occurs when the mucus membranes of the intestinal tract are damaged and no longer provide an effective barrier to pathogenic gut bacteria and macro food molecules such as undigested or partially digested large proteins.

Once these macromolecules “leak” into the system, they are either attacked as foreign antigens or join “immune complexes” that lodge elsewhere in the body, causing havoc. When food and other antigens are allowed to enter the system in excessive amounts — as is always the case in individuals with leaky gut syndrome — sensitization of the immune system occurs, contributing to, if not actually causing, auto-immune diseases.

As might be expected, permeability of the intestinal lining correlates with numerous disorders, including food and environmental allergies; bowel problems such as IBS, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease; inflammatory joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis; dermatological diseases such as psoriasis, and many forms of cancer.

First determine if you have “leaky gut” syndrome. One diagnostic tool is the intestinal permeability test available through Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory in Asheville, N.C. For healing, what’s generally required is the elimination of wheat and other gluten-containing grain products — as well as other problematic foods such as dairy and soy — for a period of four months to a year, depending on severity of the condition. Although diet alone can sometime heal a wounded GI tract, healing is facilitated with an appropriate supplement plan.

Scientific studies dating back to the turn of the century suggest that gelatin improves the digestion of grains, beans, meat and dairy products and that it can normalize cases of hydrochloric acid deficiency. In addition, gelatin can soothe, protect and nourish the intestinal lining. As Erich Cohn of the Medical Polyclinic of the University of Bonn wrote back in 1905, “Gelatin lines the mucous membrane of the intestinal tract and guards against further injurious action on the part of the ingesta.”

Further support of gelatin came in 1937 when Francis Pottenger noted, “Even foods to which individuals may be definitely sensitive, as proven by the leucopenic index and elimination diets, frequently may be tolerated with slight discomfort or none at all if gelatin is made part of the diet.”

Again, those of you who have read Listen To Your Gut, know that I warn against supplementing with Betaine HCL (a common remedy for low hydrochloric acid production) as it can trigger bleeding in susceptible individuals. So if you have trouble digesting protein, or you suspect you suffer from reduced HCL, or you are over age 50, then just start consuming gelatin-rich bone broths several times a week and this should soon remedy your problem.

You can drink the broths straight, or use them as a soup base for wide variety of noodle and vegetable soups, or meat and vegetable stews. Use them as a base for sauces and gravy. Or cook rice or cous-cous in broth rather than water. Work them in wherever you can as you can never eat too much of this rejuvenating food.

If you have my books, then you will have some good recipes for bone broths there, or you can also use these recipes by Sally Fallon – from her Nourishing Traditions cookbook.

Low Hydrochloric Acid & Leaky Gut Syndrome
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21 thoughts on “Low Hydrochloric Acid & Leaky Gut Syndrome

  • They say animal behavior can warm you when an earthquake is coming. Like the night before that last earthquake hit, our family dog took the car keys and drove to Arizona (Bob Hope/Gene Perret) 🙂

  • HCL Technologies founder director and COO S. Raman Passed away on Wednesday. S Raman was fellow-promoter of HCL, and wasRead the Rest…

  • Hi Jini,

    I came across your site through google search, when I saw a listing that said that splitting nails indicate “low hydrochloric acid”. What you say makes sense. Do you have an alternate suggestion for bone broth, for a vegetarian?



  • I have vegan children. strict and born and raised that way. they have never had milk or eggs or animal fat. they are by far the healthiest kids I know. haven’t been sick in years, they ve never had an ear infection or even a colored discharge from there noses. they have had the flu once and my oldest in 10. they are smart and healthy and incredibly radiant. I also have 2 family friends that are vegan and their kids as well and they are healthy and strong too. we eat a diet very high in fruit. we are however gluten free. I don’t think you should go around saying vegan diet is wrong for everyone. its just simply not true.

  • also for myself, I went vegan when all my digestive issues started. I had eaten plenty of organic egg and organic raw dairy prior. so I still developed digestive issues on animal fats.

  • I have been eating bone broth every other day for a week or so because I was looking for something full of my minerals and nutrients to give to my mother who is in her 80s and has come close to dyeing recently … to try to build back her strength. It is nice to know it is also good for Leaky Gut because I have suspected I may have IT…
    … and I think maybe my mother has it as well. …BUT… Because of her age she is not receptive to any suggestions that she may have something dietary that is causing her problems and that it is not ALL due to old age and nothing can be done. Because of this it is VERY hard for me to get her to try any changes to her diet … but she seems willing to eat Bone Broth Soup when I make it.

    Thanks for this informative article.

    AND …
    Oh …and to the commenter above who posted the Bob Hope/Gene Perret joke (which was totally off topic … but a little clean old fashioned comedy is always nice these days).

    Something to inspire positive thinking when trying to achieve something …
    –Gene Perret practiced writing HUNDREDS of jokes for Bob Hope BEFORE Hope finally hired him. —
    (Gene Perret was for many years the chief joke writer for Bob Hope – from 1969 to Hope’s retirement in 1993 – a 3-time Emmy Award winner he also wrote for Carol Burnett, Phyllis Diller, Bill Cosby … and TV shows like … Laugh In, The Carol Burnett Show, Welcome Back Kotter, Three’s Company, and many more)

    When Gene Perret was a young man from South Philly he studied electrical engineering … BUT … while working at GE he was asked to write a colleague’s retirement speech. It was a hit, so he was asked to write someone else’s. Soon he was the go-to guy. “I was the Bob Hope of GE,” says Gene.

    The lesson … have faith that eventually you will find your “right place” in life even if you aren’t there now.

    Why mention this in a comment section for LEAKY GUT … did you know that symptoms of Leaky Gut can include such mental and emotional aspects as …
    * Chronic depression * low-self esteem * anxiety * and just plain feeling lousy all of the time *
    … it’s hard to THINK positive when you have a leaky gut. And also having a sense of humor to appreciate comedy may also be harder when you are dealing with the effects of a Leaky Gut.
    Something to think about. maybe the off topic comment (joke) wasn’t as off topic as the commenter thought it was when he was posting it.

    So with all this talk of the healthy aspects of BONE BROTH/SOUP in the article above (the reason I found it while googling) …
    I will end with a SOUP related joke to bring the comedy into closer relevance before I end this comment …

    “Waiter, there’s NO fly in my soup!”
    ~~ Kermit the Frog

    Well …
    … maybe a soup joke by Gene Perret would be a better choice … 🙂 …

    Your table manners are atrocious. I know chicken can be eaten with your fingers, but NOT when it’s in SOUP.

    … Joanne J

    1. Hi Joanne,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences! If you haven’t already, you may want to check out Jini’s symptom section at the link below:

      You’re absolutely right about the mental and emotional components of leaky gut and other GI tract issues. That’s one reason why Jini is a proponent of meditation and EFT. If you’re not familiar with EFT, here are two links to blog posts containing more information including some free downloads and a YouTube video with Jini:

      Kind regards,
      Customer Care

  • Hi,

    I’ve had IBS with diarrhea as its main symptomefor more than 10 years and I’ve heard from all over the place that the intake of Digestive enzymes (and thus Betaine HCL) was crucial for the healing process. As I’ve never experienced bleeding in my stools so far, would it be ok for me to ingest Betaine HCL even though it is not recommanded by Jini ? Also, are there other side effects by taking that supplement?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Hello Alexandra,

      Thank you for reaching out! Naturopaths often prescribe acid supplements like Betaine HCL to improve the acidity of the stomach, however, for people with Irritable bowels this can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and easily trigger intestinal bleeding, so Jini suggest you avoid it. Please check Houston Enzymes Tri-Enza.

      Certain strains of bacteria also help produce digestive enzymes. See the section on Probiotic Supplementation in Chapter 2 of Listen to Your Gut for in-depth information on probiotics

      Kind Regards,
      Customer Care

  • Thanks for the information! Do you know any good brand of digestive enzymes that ships from Europe though?

    1. Hi Alexandre,

      Unfortunately, we’re not aware of any distributors of this product in Europe. But as Jini often says, if you prefer to buy locally, then just use the LTYG Shoppe as a resource – find out which brands Jini recommends and what to look for to ensure potency in the various products. Then you can check with your local health store or get them to order everything in for you. Since the products will come along with their regular shipments, they won’t charge you any shipping costs.

      Kind Regards,
      Cris B
      Customer Care

  • What do you think about the powdered bone broths, like the one made by Dr. Axe, only I found one that claims to be organic. I would definitely be able to drink more of them if I used the powdered kind.

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