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Holistic Medicine Secrets: Improve Your Digestion of Protein - Especially If You're Over 50

Nov 21, 2007
As we grow older, the absorption and digestion of proteins and minerals becomes more difficult leading to a variety of ailments such as osteoporosis, fatigue, and chronic illness.

We can go a long way towards addressing these concerns by improving our digestion, particularly of protein - an essential building block for good health.

BETAINE HYDROCHLORIDE: Our bodies digest protein (and other nutrients) less efficiently as we age, yet amino acids from protein are critical components of good health.

Reasons for poor absorption include the side affects of acid blocking medications such as Prilosec and Prevacid.

Another reason for poor absorption is that older people do not secrete enough stomach acid in their gastrointestinal tract.

Stomach acid is required for absorption. Both the function of muscle building and the manufacturing of neurotransmitters in the brain rely on the amino acids found in protein.

Ironically, many people take medications such as Prilosec for reducing stomach acid, but in reality, stomach acid declines as we age. People think they have stomach acid problems, because their stomach acid backs up in the esophagus due to poor digestion caused by a lack of stomach acid!

Betaine hydrochloride is an acid that can support digestion when taken with meals. A betaine hydrochloride supplement can be purchased at health food stores and may be taken in conjunction with digestive enzymes, such as pancreatic enzymes or vegetable enzymes.

In order to ensure proper dosage of betaine hydrochloride, you could start out with a dose as low as 150 milligrams and gradually increase this amount up to 600 milligrams. If warmth or burning is experienced in the upper abdomen, you should return to the previous lower dose.

PROTEIN: The final component for basic nutritional health is simply to include adequate protein in your diet.

Choose foods that are rich in high-quality protein, such as organic eggs, free-range chicken and lamb, and ocean wild-caught fish.

Protein deficiency can cause muscle mass to decrease. Also, our brain needs protein because the neurotransmitters in our brain are made out of the amino acids from protein.

Nuts and legumes contain protein as well, but are not as dense as the protein found in meat and animal products.

Try this protein rich smoothie:

STRAWBERRY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE

Blend:
1/2 to 1/3 of a frozen banana
A handful of frozen organic berries (i.e. raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
1 TBSP almond butter
2 scoops whey or rice protein (obtain at your local health food store)
Teeny bit of Stevia powder (obtain at your local health food store)
Water
About the Author
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You can sign up by going to Holistic Medicine

Dr. Lisa Hosbein, MD, FACOG - The Wellness Doctor at Holistic Medicine
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