Step 4. Nixon Seven Step Thyroid Protocol
Step 4 - Stomach Acid, SUpplements, etc
This step is also for everyone, even if you have no adverse thyroid symptoms.
The stomach is much smaller than most people imagine. What most people refer to to as a “fat stomach” is actually their “gut”, incorporating their small and large intestines, beginning at the duodenum shown in the diagram on the right, where the digested food contents, supplements, etc. pour from the stomach into the digestive tract.
Major Functions of Stomach Acid
Stomach acid is also known as hydrochloric acid (HCL), has several major functions:
1. Protects against food-borne germs, etc
Stomach acid is the first line of defence against food-borne germs and other foreign particles ingested. However if stomach acid is too low it may result in an increase of unwanted bacteria in the intestines and digestive discomfort.
Iodine is discussed in Step 5. Iodine. Although iodine kills many bacteria in seconds, most people are severely deficient in iodine, with the resultant digestive dysfunction.
In addition, vitamin C has its own antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitical action and should be consumed daily.
2. Breaks down food into amino acids
Stomach acid is used to break down our food. It is as strong as battery acid, and helps activate pepsin to break down food and proteins. Pepsin is an enzyme that helps digest proteins.
Food that is not fully broken down into amino acids in the stomach provides extra food for bad bacteria, which:
results in fermentation in the stomach
increases production of gas in the stomach
increases candida in the stomach and throughout the body.
No protein should ever enter the bloodstream. All protein should be completely broken down into amino acids, which are the building blocks the liver uses for building whatever proteins may be needed by the body at any particular moment. This why a perfectly clean liver is the ultimate aim, with no gallstones inhibiting such actions.
3. Helps absorption of vitamins and minerals
Stomach acid helps the absorption of vitamins and minerals, and activates intrinsic factor that is critical in the absorption of vitamin B12 in particular. Stomach acid that is too low can diminish this vital function. Pacholok and Stuart, authors of “Could It Be B12” write:
“In the stomach, vitamin B12 is released from its protein-bound state by pepsin. This step requires an acidic environment of a healthy stomach acid producing hydrochloric acid.”
A brief introduction to the function of the stomach is as follows:
The esophagus is a tube that runs from the mouth to the top of the stomach, where a one-way valve called the “lower esophagul sphincter” (LES) operates to stop any partially digested food or stomach acid from re-entering the esophagus and irritating the unprotected walls of the esophagus.
the acidity of the stomach is similar to that of battery acid (about 2.5 pH), and is designed to quickly break down foods into amino acids and release the contents as “chyle” into the duodenum, the first section of the intestinal tract.
No protein should ever be released by the stomach into the duodenum, only amino acids. (It is when undigested protein is released into the duodenum that often result in allergies, asthma, and auto-immune diseases. This is often the reason why children become allergic to foods that they have previously eaten without any problems - see explanation below).
It is here that bile from the gallbladder reduces the acidity of the chyle.
Enzymes from the pancreas flow into the duodenum.
Fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K are absorbed.
There must always be a good balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria in the stomach. (unbalanced bacteria in the stomach leads to candida and other health challenges).
Sufficient levels of stomach acid are critical for proper conversion of inactive T4 thyroid hormone into the active form, T3, principally in the liver.
Tyrosine is one of the amino acids needed for the formation of thyroid hormones. (As explained earlier, thyroid hormone T4 is one molecule of tyrosine bonded with 4 atoms of iodine, and thyroid hormone T3 is one molecule of tyrosine bonded with three atoms of iodine). Tyrosine is known as a "non-essential" amino acid because it can be made in the body from another amino acid, phenylalanine, as well as extracted from certain food items such as dairy, meats, fish, nuts, etc.
As the nutrients are released into the intestines they are transported across the intestinal wall into the bloodstream and taken to the liver and thyroid and other organs. A liver clogged with gallstones cannot operate efficiently.
Too High? Or Too Low?
My Doctor Says That My Stomach Acid Is TOO HIGH? And has prescribed me medications to reduce the level of stomach acid. Is this correct?
Unfortunately, doctors are trained in medical schools that are funded by the Pharmaceutical industry, which expects good returns on their investment in the medical colleges. Compare your symptoms with the following list of common health complaints associated with "LOW" stomach acid:
Asthma, allergies (sensitivities to foods normally eaten),
Leaky gut syndrome and other gut problems
Irregular bowel movements
B12 and folate deficiencies
Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Eczema and other skin problems
Heartburn, indigestion, bloating, feelings of fullness, nausea
Undigested food in stools
Candida, thrush, itchy toes,
Lowered appetite in the elderly, rapid aging
Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety
Acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea
Rosy red complexion, due to dilation of capilliaries in the cheeks, especially in younger children
Paper thin fingernails that chip, crack or break easily
Hair loss in women, especially those on oestrogen replacement therapy, those on oral contraceptives, or who are deficient in folate. And those who are pregnant in pregnant women
This is interesting, for all those listed are also symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Autoimmune symptoms, and Allergies and Asthma are discussed briefly in the following sections. It is also interesting to note that Diabetes is listed, as historically a diagnosis of diabetes was a sure sign that the patient was also hypothyroid (someone with an underactive thyroid), and his Diabetes was successfully treated with thyroid hormone.
And notice that Chronic fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety all reduce body energy that is needed for the transport of thyroid hormone from the bloodstream into the cells.
And it seems that we develop more health challenges as we age maybe because we produce less stomach acid as we age.
Allergies, Asthma, AutoImmune Diseases
Dr. Jerry Tennant writes:
"The body does not become allergic to amino acids - only to proteins”.
“Iodine is necessary to make stomach acid. Humans should never absorb proteins. We must only absorb amino acids to make our own proteins. When we don’t have stomach acid because we are deficient in iodine, zinc, and vitamin B1, we absorb whole proteins." The immune system recognises that the body didn’t make these proteins and assumes they are invaders.”
“Having enough iodine to make stomach acid thus helps prevent food allergies.”
”It is possible that Hashimoto’s disease is simply fluoride damage.”
“…the symptoms of hypothyroidism and fluoride poisoning are the same.”
“Even though the antibodies attack the proteins in the desiccated thyroid pills, it appears they do not attack the actual hormones…”
“We are also seeing a relationship between Hashimoto’s disease and gluten sensitivity.”
“Since fluoride permanently damages the thyroid gland, most people require both iodine for it’s anti-infective effects and thyroid hormone to have normal thyroid function.”
Asthma is just one of the 185 symptoms of both fluoride poisoning and hypothyroidism listed in Dr. Jerry Tennant’s book “Healing Is Voltage”, which also lists Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Autism, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Diabetes Mellitus, Down’s Syndrome, Eczema, Fibromyalgia, Migraine, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoporosis, Parkinson’s Diseases, Uterine Bleeding, and one hundred and seventy more.
GERD, Gastric Reflux, Burping, etc
(GERD is Gastro Esophagul Reflux Disease).
No protein should ever leave the stomach, only amino acids.
These amino acids are released from the stomach, then absorbed through the walls of the intestines into the bloodstream, and then passed into the liver. The liver will make whatever proteins are needed by the body at that particular time and will attach a "MIM tag", (What I refer to as a “Made In Me" tag), saying "this protein was made within this body!"
As part of the body's immune system, white blood cells patrol the bloodstream seeking out proteins. When they encounter a protein with this "Made in Me" tag, they ignore that protein and continue their patrol. However, when the white blood cells come across a protein that does not have that "tag", they assume that it is an enemy, an "invader", and call in the troops to destroy that protein fragment. Hence the immune system manufactures antibodies against that protein fragment, and counters the "invasion".
Hence, the beginning of allergies, asthma, and maybe also some of the “auto-immune” diseases. But auto-immunity is a far bigger story.
As an aside, what does this mean when people receive immunisation material via needles direct into their bloodstream, bypassing the bodies built-in protective barriers? It is often said that no vaccine can be regarded as "safe".
When protein foods are incompletely broken down in the stomach, these protein fragments provide food for the bad bacteria, and most often candida results. To counteract this situation, we need to consider two things:
Firstly we must increase the level of stomach acid.
Secondly we must increase the volume of good bacteria in the stomach to counteract the bad bacteria.
Do not underestimate how important these two steps are. Disease of almost any kind starts in the gut. Candida wreaks havoc on the thyroid (as well as the whole body).
To increase stomach acid, try eating apple cider vinegar, or taking Betaine hydrochloric acid tablets obtained over the counter from the local pharmacy. Betaine tablets are made from beetroot. Take one before a meal, and notice any "warming" sensation. If no such feeling, take 2 tablets before the next meal, and slowly increase the dosage at each meal until that "warming" feeling is felt in the stomach, then reduce by one tablet the next time. Some people need to take 8 or 10 tablets per meal before they can feel that warming feeling.
To help balance the bacteria (good versus bad) within the stomach, try eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and a good yoghurt, or a good probiotic.
From Dr. Jerry Tennant “Healing is Voltage”:
"…it is also important to remember that taking antacids or drugs that block stomach acid production causes you to be deficient in zinc. This makes you susceptible to all of the above things..."
(e.g. Asthma, bloating, depression, dermatitis, eczema, hair loss, hay fever, itchy skin, joint pain, joint stiffness, missed periods, prolonged infections, psoriasis, thrush, etc.)
"Without stomach acid you can't absorb zinc... There are over 350 biochemical reactions that rely on zinc..."
(including conversion of the inactive T4 thyroid hormone to active T3 thyroid hormone).