HCl is hydrochloric acid, a digestive acid created by the body for the digestion of fats and proteins in the stomach. With age, the natural production of HCl decreases.
Betaine HCl is an acidic form of betaine, a vitamin-like substance found in some foods (including grains) and recommended as a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid for people who have a deficiency of stomach acid production (hypochlorhydria).
A healthy stomach contains enough HCl to maintain a pH between 1 and 2, which is extremely acid. Incompletely digested food fragments are the result of too little HCl and may hamper the growth of normal bacterial flora in the intestines. As we get older, stomach acid secretion tends to decrease, resulting in poor digestion and poor absorption of nutrients.
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