FAQ: Smidge HCl + Enzymes

Is Smidge® HCl + Enzymes safe for children?

Smidge® HCl + Enzymes is safe for children who can swallow the pill whole. We do not recommend opening the capsule, because the HCl can be irritating to the teeth and throat.

Also, please avoid if you have mold sensitivities, an Aspergillus allergy, or a compromised immune system, as the enzymes are derived from Aspergillus (fungus) via fermentation.*

Where is this product sourced and created?

Smidge® HCl + Enzymes is sourced and produced in the U.S.!

Is Smidge® HCl + Enzymes free of common allergens?

Yes :) It's free of milk/casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat/gluten, yeast and soybeans.

However, please avoid if you have mold sensitivities, an Aspergillus allergy, or a compromised immune system, as the enzymes are derived from Aspergillus (fungus) via fermentation.

What are the enzymes in Smidge® HCl + Enzymes derived?

The enzymes are derived from Aspergillus (fungus) via fermentation. For this reason, we do not recommend the product for individuals who have an Aspergillus allergy or a compromised immune system*

The HCl is derived in a lab by a proprietary process. And the pepsin is derived from porcine collagen, primarily the bones and skin of the pig.

As always, consult with a certified medical practitioner, preferably one familiar with gut health, before starting any new supplement.

What is the difference between Smidge® HCl + Enzymes and Smidge® Digestive Enzymes?

Smidge® HCl + Enzymes is our original formula that contains HCl (hydrochloric acid) and pepsin. It's ideal for people who have occasional acid reflux, gas or bloating and seek a gentle dose of HCl and pepsin with their digestive enzymes. Many of our customers following the GAPS diet or other ancestral protocols that call for restricting grains and carb intake take it, as it helps with the breakdown of meat and animal proteins.* It also helps restore HCl levels and maximize the absorption of fats, proteins and minerals.

Smidge® Digestive Enzymes is a digestive supplement for people who have adequate HCl levels but want to maximize their absorption of fats, proteins and hard-to-digest carbs. It includes all the same enzymes as Smidge® HCl + Enzymes, plus additional enzymes to support the digestion of beans, cruciferous veggies and other carbohydrates. You can even open up the capsules to consume, since it does not contain HCl. Smidge® Digestive Enzymes are a great choice for the whole family or those new to enzymes to support comfortable digestion and nutrient absorption. 

Many of our customers have both on hand depending on what’s on their plates!

Can I use Smidge® HCl + Enzymes together with Smidge® Digestive Enzymes?

Yes! Smidge® HCl + Enzymes can be used in tandem or sequentially with Smidge® Digestive Enzymes, which does not have HCl and pepsin but has more digestive enzymes for carbs and veggies. Some customers start with Smidge® HCl + Enzymes and then move onto only Smidge® Digestive Enzymes after their HCl levels are up. Some use the two in tandem for different meals over the same day.

Can I take HCl + Enzymes with my probiotics?

GIve them a breather. This product has contraindications, so it's best to take it apart from your probiotics. For instance, you could take your probiotics in the morning with breakfast and take the enzymes with lunch or dinner.

What happens when you don't have enough HCl in your stomach?

Your body tells you… Unfortunately, some people have a hard time producing enough HCl. This is particularly true when you're older. People over the age of 65 years are most likely to have low levels of hydrochloric acid.[2]

Sometimes stress or illness can also trigger a decrease in acid production.

Antacids and proton pump inhibitors are responsible for many people's problems with hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid).

Here are some possible symptoms that can bubble up if you don't have enough HCl*:

  1. You miss out on critical nutrients and minerals that have not been released through the process of digestion. Low HCl has been linked to the inability to digest essential minerals such as magnesium, zinc, selenium and the vitamins B12, thiamine and folate.

  2. Unwelcome microbes stow away on your food and take up residence in your stomach and intestines. Research has shown that low stomach acid is linked to pathogenic microbial blooms in the beginning of the small intestine. Some of these microbes occupy the sphincter muscle at the top of your stomach, paralyzing the sphincter. As a result, undigested food from your stomach (along with depleted and sparse acid in the mix) bubbles up causing heartburn and acid reflux. So what is considered "acid reflux" is more often a sign of low stomach acid and undigested food particles backing up into the esophagus.

  3. Digestion of carbohydrates via acidity doesn't stop in the stomach like it's supposed to. Microbes that have also survived into your stomach due to the low pH ferment the carbohydrate cause gas and bloating.

  4. The flow of bile (and pancreatic enzymes are not released), making it harder for your body to finish digesting foods in the small intestine.

You can experience brain fog and low energy. Your entire body needs the amino acid building blocks of protein to function. Enzymes, neurotransmitters, muscles, connective tissue — all of these are proteins. And if you can't digest protein properly, you can't make these important nutrients. Even worse, some proteins when improperly broken down can form opiate-like substances that disrupt brain chemistry and development.

I'm on the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet. How does the HCl and pepsin in this supplement work to support this protocol?

We love our GAPS community <3 If you're putting time and energy into preparing protein-rich, real foods with healthy fats, you want to get the most out of them. HCl + Enzymes allows you to get every ounce of nourishment out of your diet.

It has digestive enzymes for carbs, dairy and veggies. But the emphasis is on lipase, pepsin and other proteases for digesting fats and protein.

Even more, it contains a critical digestive substance you won't find combined with pepsin in most other digestive supplements: hydrochloric acid (HCl).

Because of this unique combination, HCl + Enzymes is one of the few digestive supplements explicitly designed to support the comfortable digestion of protein and fats.*

For example, at a recent conference, a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) practitioner approached us and explained she's been implementing the diet with her son. While it seemed to be helping, he was also stuck. Yet when she started giving him HCl + Enzymes, she said it was like a lightbulb flicked on in her son. Everything started working as she'd hoped. His cognitive and physical health finally hit the levels she'd been working so hard to help him achieve.*

As Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, creator of the GAPS diet, puts it: "HCl is like the first critical person in an assembly line. If HCl isn't there in adequate amounts, nothing can quite make up for it. The whole assembly line breaks down."

(Please note that while this probiotic may be suitable for people on dietary protocols, we do not claim it cures the health conditions that prompt the diets.)

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