This article identifies some individual groups of people that should not eat raw fish in sushi and sashimi. The FDA recommends the following groups should avoid eating raw fish based on health concerns and risk factors associated with this practice.
- Very young children
- Women who are pregnant
- Anyone with a compromised immune system
- Anyone with low levels of stomach acid
I really want to focus on the last category of individuals…those with low stomach acid.
Low levels of stomach acid is extremely common in the general population, even among those younger individuals you would think should have normal levels. I recently treated one young man that suffered with migraine headaches for a number of years. His underlying cause was low stomach acid. When we used some supplemental betaine HCl to help aid digestion his headaches went away.
Can you guess what the biggest symptom of low stomach acid is? This symptom is common and leads to annual sales of over $13 billion to try and treat the symptoms. Unfortunately, conventional medical treatment of these symptoms leads to other negative side effects and risk factors such as: dementia, pneumonia, increased hip fracture rates, cancer, and more.
The biggest symptom of low stomach acid is acid reflux and indigestion. Yep, that’s right. A condition that, if you listen to all the commercials, is due to too much stomach acid that must be blocked so it can’t cause any more problems. In reality, greater than 90% of all heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion issues can be attributed to low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria). This hypochlorhydria affects the functioning of the two important sphincters (regions of circular muscles that are designed to control things going in and things going out) called the lower esophageal sphincter and the pyloric sphincter.
There is an easy way to know if low stomach acid is your problem and that is simply by trying to supplement with some betaine HCl and observe your symptoms. If you get a burning sensation then either you are manufacturing enough stomach acid or you have too much stomach irritation / inflammation. To test this, I use a product called Metagest and give my patients a small sample baggie of these tablets, where they will know right away if this is something they need or not. I am amazed at the vast majority of patients that come to see me that are not making enough stomach acid.
So if you are a raw fish eater, make sure you have adequate stomach acid. Use a simple challenge with betaine HCl and then monitor your symptoms. It’s a great way to improve your health and decrease your risk of developing food-borne illness.
Do you suffer with indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux? If you do and want relief from your symptoms feel free to visit our LEC website for information on scheduling an appointment, or email me directly at [email protected] and we can schedule a nutritional consultation and walk you through a betaine HCl challenge. Take care. Thanks for reading and posting comments!