High availability of “junk food” and its many forms has thrown many nutritional challenges our way, but even eating a healthy diet can present digestive concerns. Don’t worry - easy and efficient digestion is still within your grasp. In this episode of Healthline Live Radio Show, Dr. Robert Marshall, Ph.D. and co-founder of Quantum Nutrition Labs, discusses steps you can take to support your own best digestion.
“There’s a lot of challenges for you to stay healthy, but one is a lack of minerals,” points out Dr. Marshall. “This is a big one. We need to correct it as soon as we can and as young as we can so we can minimize the risk of insufficient mineral intake. The minerals are what you need to maintain healthy bones. But the other main challenge is digesting and absorbing your food.”
Dr. Marshall touches on one of the most commonly used methods for digestive comfort: antacids. “They do work,” he observes. “If you have acid indigestion and you take an antacid, it can stop the burning. However, you’re going to pay a terrific price. Because the antacid neutralizes your own stomach acid, that food is now going to rot from your stomach all the way through to your anus. Over time, taking an antacid will slowly disorder the normal, healthy bacterial ecology of your microbiome – your gut bacteria.”
But the effect of taking antacids on a regular basis can be even more upsetting than a disruption to your microbiome. Dr. Marshall warns that these “quick fixes” may even disrupt your body’s normal ability to produce vitamins, digestive enzymes, and hydrochloric acid. “It’ll start disrupting your ability to make certain B vitamins and much more,” he finds. “Over time, you may notice that you may have fatigue, you may have gas, you may have many other symptoms as a consequence of the antacids.”
Instead, Dr. Marshall recommends taking other, more natural measures to improve digestive capability: “We often eat cooked food which kills the bugs that may live on the outside of the food. But cooking also inactivates enzymes naturally contained in food. Our first step is to preserve the ability to digest and absorb food starting at age 25 to 35. You’ve got to take digestive enzymes and support sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acid in the body.”
Dr. Marshall elaborates on this important acid: “Hydrochloric acid is your first line of defense: any unknown junk that might be on the food, salmonella for instance, it can disinfect it. When you have acid indigestion, it doesn’t mean you’re producing too much hydrochloric acid. It means the opposite – you're not producing nearly enough. If your food is sitting in the stomach, rotting, then you are generating excess amounts of lactic acid - the wrong kind of acid for digesting food. It makes the average person think they’re producing too much hydrochloric acid. Totally wrong. The body is producing too much lactic acid, which certainly burns and makes the stomach feel miserable.”
In addition to support with hydrochloric acid, Dr. Marshall discusses another key step that you can take: the use of enzyme support. He cautions: “We really need to take some pancreatic enzymes and allow them to get into the small intestine. Plant-based enzymes are the best form.” These enzymes assist your digestive system to break down the foods that you eat in order to absorb the vitamins and nutrients those foods provide and play a critical role in healthy digestion.
Listen to the full episode of Healthline Live Radio Show below to hear the rest of Dr. Marshall’s digestive advice!