Contains naturally-occurring plant and animal-based digestive enzymes. Helps digest dietary proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Recommended for indigestion, heartburn, and delayed stomach emptying. Helpful for relieving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with intermittent constipation and diarrhea.†
Incomplete digestion of foods causes chronic heartburn, gastritis, duodenitis, and ulcers of the lower esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (collectively — peptic ulcers.)
It is also behind undernutrition because the incomplete breakdown of foods and resulting intestinal inflammation prevent the assimilation of essential nutrients.
Malabsorption of nutrients is behind premature aging and degenerative disorders, ranging from osteoporosis and arthritis on one end, dementia or Parkinson’s disease on the other, and everything else in-between.
All of the above conditions are further exacerbated by antacid medications for relieving heartburn and gastritis because they diminish the secretion of gastric acid and proteolytic enzymes.
This supplement is particularly helpful when combined with strategies recommended on this site because they reduce gastrointestinal inflammation, improve digestion, restore regularity, and eliminate or reduce dependence on antacids.
Betaine HCL is a mild form of hydrochloric acid (HCL) that helps to support the digestive process, particularly the beginning of protein digestion before food moves on to the intestines.†
HCL is essential for absorbing many nutrients, including calcium, folic acid, B12, and iron. It is also required to sterilize foods and beverages and neutralize viruses and bacteria that enter the stomach with saliva.
Aging and medications such as antacids can reduce the production and effectiveness of HCL, which may exacerbate digestive problems and other essential nutrients.
A low level of HCL slows down gastric digestion and causes delayed stomach emptying (gastroparesis). This condition undermines the effectiveness of the Hydro-CM program because it prevents rapid absorption of its key ingredients.
- Pepsin is an enzyme that begins the process of protein digestion in the stomach. This proteolytic enzyme is designed to function in a high acid environment;
- Bromelain is derived from pineapple and is a proteolytic enzyme that helps break down protein.
- Papain is derived from papaya and provides an array of proteolytic enzymes to support protein digestion.
- Ox bile extract helps to emulsify fat, which prepares it for digestion by fat-digesting enzymes (lipases).
- Pancreatin contains amylase for carbohydrate digestion, protease for protein digestion, and lipase for fat digestion. Combining these digestive enzymes in pancreatin has been shown to support the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients.
Gastrozymes formula is intended for adults. As a dietary supplement, take two tablets after a protein-containing meal. Do not take this supplement when consuming primarily carbohydrate-based foods because they don’t require gastric acid and proteolytic enzymes for their digestion.
Gastrozymes supplement is not recommended for children under 12 unless prescribed by a pediatric physician.
Do not take Gastrozymes on an empty stomach or with carbohydrate-only food. This supplement requires the presence of protein-containing foods in the stomach!
Do not take Gastrozymes if you suffer from gastric ulcers, gastritis, or persistent abdominal pain!
Gastrozymes supplement contains active enzymes and synergistic substances naturally present in a healthy stomach.
If you feel pain or discomfort SHORTLY after taking Gastrozymes, discontinue taking it immediately and get evaluated by a GI physician.
Heartburn, gastritis, and peptic ulcers are three medical disorders of the stomach primarily related to inadequate digestion of the food in your diet.
In turn, indigestion isn’t caused so much by what’s on your plate but by how, when, and in what amounts you are eating. In other words, it isn’t a “diet” per se that harms you, but how you consume it.
Unfortunately, that’s not what 99.9% of registered dietitians and nutritionists will tell you because… gasp… gastric disorders aren’t even a subject of their curriculum and internship in hospitals and nursing homes that are focused on “prescribing” foods to sick, dying, old and infirm.
The job of healing gastric disorders is reserved for medical doctors who are trained to (a) diagnose these conditions, (b) prescribe medicines to treat them, and (c) operate patients when drugs are no longer enough to contain them. From their perspective, for as long as what you eat doesn’t contain salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol, you are “gold” to them, literally and figuratively.
This approach has turned antacids of all kinds into the highest-selling drugs in the history of humankind, even though common sense dictates that eating-related disorders should be treated with eating differently instead of suppressing NORMAL digestion with them.
Alas, common sense doesn’t apply to profit-centered medical care. Judge for yourself:
- Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Simple non-erosive gastritis is asymptomatic because the gastric mucosa does not have innervation for detecting harm. A more severe form of gastritis can be recognized by symptoms such as a lump in the throat, pain after eating, nausea, vomiting, and some others.
- A peptic ulcer is the logical conclusion of gastritis. Ulcer bleeding can be asymptomatic and is often recognized only by secondary signs associated with blood loss.
- Both gastritis and peptic ulcer disease are usually preceded by heartburn (also known as GERD). This condition is related to the release of stomach contents into the esophagus. The burning sensation of the “heartBURN” is caused by gastric acid and enzymes that, indeed, burn and gradually eviscerate the unprotected mucosal lining of the esophagus — a tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. They may also affect your vocal cords (hoarse voice) and damage teeth.
By the way, the term GERD, or GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease, is a little “fraud of convenience” that was invented by crafty Big Pharma for turning heartburn into a “disease” and enable doctors to prescribe antacid medicines known in the trade as PPIs (proton-pump inhibitors).
Thus, the generally accepted clinical method of dealing with heartburn, gastritis, and peptic ulcers are powerful hormonal drugs that suppress histamine and “inhibit” the release of hydrochloric acid into the stomach.
The most famous PPIs are Protonix (pantoprazole), Nexium (esomeprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole) and Prilosec (omeprazole). The last three ran out of patent protection years ago and can be freely purchased and abused without a prescription.
Here is what the do inside your body:
— First, by blocking hydrochloric acid from sterilizing foods, you unknowingly turn off your body's natural defenses against bacteria, viruses, and other toxins that enter the stomach with food and drinks. Letting these pathogens pass the stomach unchecked may cause food poisonings, viral and bacterial infections, and toxicoses that affect the rest of the small intestine and the colon — respectively, duodenitis, enteritis, and colitis.
That’s, incidentally, why so many people with COVID infections develop some of the above conditions on top of respiratory symptoms, disorders, and complications — their stomachs don’t produce enough acid to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses that reach their stomachs and intestines with saliva.
— Second, by blocking the secretion of hydrochloric acid with PPIs, you disrupt the process of mucus formation and regeneration of the mucous membrane, which protects the stomach from the acid itself, from proteolytic enzymes, and, of course, bacteria and viruses.
— Third, protein digestion gets impaired without enough gastric acid in the stomach. This condition leads to incomplete digestion. In turn, incomplete digestion leads to delayed gastric emptying (gastroparesis), exacerbating gastric disorders even more. To boot, the rotting of undigested proteins inside the small and large intestines causes blood intoxication, nausea, vomiting, and chronic diarrhea.
— Fourth, long-term protein deficiency from indigestion of proteins may damage your skin, hair, nails, teeth, and bones, weaken your immunity, and cause chronic fatigue, insomnia, depression, memory loss, and a host of neurological disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
— Fifth, PPIs are linked to acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). Complications from these conditions include chronic edema and fatigue, high blood pressure, heart disease, bone disorders, and anemia — a pretty heavy price to pay for a common heartburn “prevention.”
Finally, when you combine all of the above outcomes, you may as well kiss goodbye to your career, quality of life, longevity, savings, and, eventually, life.
I am not making any of that up to scare you. These side effects are described in PPIs’ instructions and on countless websites, blogs, and YouTube videos.
PPIs are appropriate and life-saving in some short-term clinical situations, such as acute gastritis or a bleeding ulcer. Therefore, do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. This essay isn’t about the clinical treatments of acute gastric conditions but about protecting you from extended “preventative” treatment that may stop heartburn but will “burn down the house.”
As you may have already guessed, my recommendations for reversing and preventing gastric disorders rely solely on lifestyle changes. Hence, there is nothing tricky about the safety of my approach:
— Firstly, it eliminates the excesses of fluids and foods to prevent their release into the esophagus and, therefore, causing heartburn.
— Secondly, it improves digestion and speeds up gastric emptying, which reduces the likelihood of developing gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
— Thirdly, it eliminates the indigestion of proteins, which is beneficial for your general condition and the functionality of the entire gastrointestinal tract.
— Fourthly, it normalizes the activity of the small and large intestines, eliminates diarrhea, and prevents constipation without laxatives, which is so critical for any diet.
— Finally, this natural method is safer than drugs as it only relies on dietary changes and the way you eat, and, in some cases, basic supplements.
Remember: gastric disorders (heartburn, gastritis, and stomach ulcers) from improper eating can only be eliminated by proper eating. And not only gastric disorders!
Here are some of the typical situations when good quality supplemental enzymes may be helpful:
- Atrophic gastritis is a late stage of inflammatory/erosive gastritis that causes the atrophy of stomach glands and the formation of fibrous tissues. Without these glands, the stomach can’t secrete hydrochloric acid and gastric enzymes necessary for the normal digestion of proteins and the production of the intrinsic factor needed to assimilate vitamin B-12. Digestive enzymes (like Gastrozymes) and supplemental vitamin B-12 are required for this condition.
- Dental problems. Poor-fitting dentures, missing teeth, and tooth pain may prevent thorough chewing and the softening of foods with saliva essential for the complete digestion of proteins. In these circumstances, the combination of pureeing, blending, and mashing of solid foods along with Gastrozymes may be quite helpful.
High-protein diets such as Atkins and Keto, are hard on gastric digestion because, evolutionary, the stomach wasn’t adopted for digesting several protein-containing meals throughout the day.
Alcohol, stress, exercise, and working while sitting down further suppress gastric digestion. Soft drinks and plain water between meals extend digestion for even longer stretches because fluids dilute acidity and enzymes.
Even in the best of circumstances, each digestive cycle requires 6 to 8 hours in young, healthy adults and longer as you age. So when all of the above factors are combined, the stomach doesn't have enough time to clear out and restore the mucosal membrane that protects it from its own gastric acid and enzymes.
The lack of protection leads to inevitable erosion, inflammation, ulceration, and atrophy of the stomach and adjoining esophagus and duodenum.
Gastrozymes isn’t the solution when experiencing any of the above condition, but it may help to tolerate these diets better by enhancing the digestion of proteins.
Irregular eating patterns. Traveling to different time zones, working alternating shifts, traveling to different time zones, switching to a new diet, and similar other sudden changes of eating patterns often result in heartburn, gastritis, ulcers, bloating, cramping, severe constipation, run-away diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
They are often written off on poor water quality or food poisoning, but that’s rarely true. In reality, these disorders happen because evolution conditioned our bodies to consume and process foods at about the same time day after day, month after month, and year after year.
When eating a large meal at the wrong time, there isn’t enough acid and enzymes to sterilize and digest it. As a result, undigested carbohydrates begin to ferment, undigested proteins begin to rot, and the toxic byproducts of these processes lead to severe poisoning, commonly manifested by non-stop diarrhea — a bane of far away cruises and international vacations.
Augmenting digestion with Gastrozymes in these situations may mitigate the above problems. Equally important is moderation, gradual transition to the new eating pattern, and minimizing animal proteins because the byproducts of their rotting are far more toxic than the fermentation of the carbohydrates.
Significant overeating during holidays or while staying at all-inclusive resorts and cruises, or attending all-you-can-eat restaurants. Some people can get away with all of the above infractions because of their large stomach capacity. You don’t belong to that “lucky” bunch if you are now reading this site.
Gastrozymes can be helpful in these situations because your body may not produce enough enzymes to digest so many foods. A much better solution — don’t do it!
Keep in mind that alcohol suppresses gastric digestion even more, and that’s why so many inexperienced drinkers end up throwing up their meals. Ironically, throwing up is preferred to having severe food poisoning from undigested food.
- High-stress events turn off digestive processes to prime the body for a fight-or-flight response. The outcomes and recommendations are similar to what I described in the bullets above.
- Food allergies and intolerances are commonly exacerbated by gastrointestinal inflammation related to inadequate digestion. Judicious use of supplemental enzymes may help alleviate or reverse these conditions.
- While recovering from trauma, surgery, and accidents. These situations shut down digestive functions as non-essential, and that shutdown is further exacerbated by anesthetic and pain medicines. Once the body is on its way to recovery, supplemental enzymes may help jumpstart the recovery process.
- Systemic medications that affect gastric digestions. A broad range of prescription and OTC drugs affect gastric digestion. You can determine these adverse effects for any particular drug by checking out their Prescription Information circulars. If their side effects include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal cramps. Supplemental enzymes may be helpful, but you shouldn’t take them if the above symptoms are already present.
- Clinical recovery from eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia. People affected by these disorders are prime candidates for digestive enzymes because, in most cases, their gastric digestion is completely dysfunctional from atrophic gastritis and pancreatic deficiencies.
- Significant weight loss related to undernutrition and malnutrition. These conditions are very similar to the bullet above. Supplemental enzymes may be helpful in combination with other supplements and an easy-to-digest diet.
- Weight-loss surgeries and procedures that reduce stomach capacity. Supplemental enzymes are a must for anyone after these procedures because their reduced stomachs may lack the ability to secret enough enzymes and acid to perform their intended functions.
Please note that you shouldn’t take supplemental enzymes while experiencing acute clinical conditions without consultation with an attending specialist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, chocolate, fat, and spices cause indigestion?
All of the above-listed food CANNOT cause indigestion because they DO NOT REQUIRE gastric digestion. The only foods the stomach “digests” are animal and plant-based proteins.
This myth arose because tea, coffee, and soft drinks are commonly consumed with and after meals. When any drink, even pure water, enters a stomach already filled to the brim with foods and fluids, their excesse flows back (refluxes) into the esophagus.
The reflux happens because swallowing more foods or even saliva opens the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach. Bending down, laying flat, wearing tight closing, and assuming certain poses may exacerbate reflux because of the stomach compression on the one hand, and the gravitation forces on the other.
Because the spices and chocolate have strong taste and aroma, you may feel them during belching that may accompany reflux, but just like with fluids, this does not mean that they were the cause of it.
Since dietary fat is getting blamed for just about every ill, in this case, it became a convenient victim of its own “bad” reputation. In reality, fat is digested and assimilated exclusively in the small intestine, and by itself, it can’t cause indigestion in the stomach.
Q. I get heartburn as soon as I eat a small breakfast. This completely contradicts your explanation about the causes of indigestion.
No, it does not contradict in any way. It simply means that by the time you are eating breakfast, your stomach is still filled with foods and fluids from yesterday.
It may be a one-off occurrence related to overeating. But if it happens all the time, you may be affected by delayed emptying of the stomach or gastroparesis.
Delayed emptying is rare among younger people but common among older adults because of medications, including antacids; enzymatic deficiency related to the inflammation or atrophy of the mucous membrane; low acidity caused by low-salt diets (the chlorine in hydrochloric acid is taken chlorine in the table salt), and some other factors.
Q. I was diagnosed with erosive gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, but I have never had heartburn or indigestion.
As I already explained, heartburn and indigestion primarily occur because of overeating or delayed stomach emptying and are merely the reflections of all of the factors behind gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
There are plenty of other factors that I mentioned in a prior section that may cause indigestion and disrupt the integrity of the gastric mucosa without causing heartburn.
Q. My doctor told me that heartburn medication only partially lowers the acidity and that acid is not needed to digest food.
These statements aren’t true. The acidity in the stomach is dictated by the composition of the foods you ingest. If there are no proteins in the meal, the stomach acidity ranges from 4-5 pH. If there are proteins — at the peak of digestive activity, it may reach 1-2 pH in healthy people. (The lower number on the pH scale corresponds with a higher acidity).
Without protein-containing foods in the meal, your acidity would naturally drop down because the stomach will not release as much gastric acid.
All that said, taking antacid drugs is justified in an emergency, such as acute gastritis, esophagitis, or a bleeding ulcer, until the mucosal membrane is restored and the ulcer is healed.
Q. I read on the Internet and heard from a doctor that GERD is an incurable chronic disease and that I will need to take antacids for the rest of my life. Is it true?
If you “fight” gastroesophageal reflux disease with antacid medications, it’s absolutely true because they do not eliminate the causes of reflux but only mask heartburn — its most obvious symptom.
The primary exception is esophageal sphincter atrophy, which leaves the sphincter permanently open.
Nonetheless, pharmaceutical companies actively promote the myth that gastroesophageal reflux is an incurable chronic disease to keep you "on the needle" for as long as possible.