How to figure out your Betaine HCL dosage:

Each person will have a specific supplementary HCL dosage. Unfortunately, there isn’t a special formula I can give you to figure it out. This is a case of trial and error until you get to the correct dosage. Failing to get to your correct dosage can remove the benefits of supplementing.

Please see Dr. Justin’s video on how to dose HCL and enzymes for more help. You must find the right dosage for your situation:

If you are adding in digestive support for the first time, make sure you add in each supplement one at a time and move down the protocol sheet on the digestive support program, ascending to descending (top to bottom on the protocol).

Make sure you are stable with the previous dose before moving down the list. When the next supplement is added in, make sure you continue to take the previous supplement. 1st, HCL, 2nd Enzymes, 3rd Liver Supreme etc...

If you are more sensitive, you can take a fraction of a capsules like 1/4 or 1/2 a cap and increase in smaller increments if needed. You can mix the supplements in with your food by opening up the capsules, this will allow you tapper up the supplement at a smaller dose allowing you to tolerate it better. You can also taper up the digestive support in bigger increments if you aren't as sensitive. 

HCL Supreme: 1-5 caps (If burning, pain or inflammation occurs in the stomach area, back off 1 dose)
Enzyme Synergy: 1-3 caps (See where digestion and where you overall feel the best)
Liver Supreme: 1-3 caps (See where digestion and you overall feel the best, make sure stools sink)
* "-" hyphens between the supplement dose means start low and work your way up.

Optimizing Dose:

  1. HCL Supreme 1-3 caps based on the amount of food. If you feel better going up to 5 caps, feel free and do so. Look for better motility, digestion, mood or energy are good indicators. 
  2. Enzymes Synergy 1-3 caps based on where you feel best for your digestion. If going higher helps, feel free and go up to 4-5 caps if you notice a significant difference. 
  3. Liver Supreme 1-3 caps based on improved fat digestion and stools starting to sink. If going higher you can go up to 5 caps if you feel an improvement. 
How To Dial In The HCL:

  1. Eat a meal that contains at least 20-30 grams of protein (about 4-ounces of meat). Start the the hcl support and can increase digestive supports one at a time. Find our your optimal dose before moving to the next supplement. See where you feel the best overall, if higher doses don't help, lower is fine. 
  2. Start by taking 1 cap of HCL In the middle of the meal. Not before and not after the meal, this may cause discomfort. If 1 cap causes a problem, try going down to a ½ or a ¼ of a cap if possible. If you are noticing any type of digestive irritation mentioned below, please use the GI Restore supplement found in the Just In Health store to help heal and soothe the inflamed gut lining.
  3. Finish the meal as normal and observe your body for any changes in feeling associated with the stomach and belly button area. Things to look for: heaviness, hotness, burning, or other GI distress.
  4. If you are not experiencing any digestive distress when increasing your dosage, you can continue to increase 1 cap per day with all of your meals. For example, if you started on Monday, 1 cap would be taken with all three meals then Tuesday 2 caps with all three meals etc…
  5. Keep increasing the number of caps taken with each meal until you notice some GI discomfort described above or until you hit a max dosage of 5 HCL caps.
  6. When GI discomfort occurs, you will know your ideal HCL dosage is 1 cap less than that current dose. For example, if you felt the discomfort going from 4 caps to 5 caps, then 4 caps is your proper dosage for a normal meal.
  7. If you don’t feel an improvement in your digestion when going from 3 caps to 4 caps, or 4 caps to 5 caps, a good average HCL dosage will be 1-3 caps per meal depending on the amount of food and what feels best.
  8. You don’t want to cause a peptic ulcer, so be very careful when going above 5 caps per meal. Be very mindful that no digestive symptoms or distress is occurring. If you feel better at this dose or even higher, please check in with Dr. J at your next consult on your progress.
  9. If Dr. J gives you enzymes separate to your HCL, you can use between 1-4 caps of enzymes per meal. Enzymes are nonabrasive and shouldn’t cause any digestive distress if your stomach is sensitive. Please take them in the middle of the meal with the HCL. Additional bile salts may also be prescribed as well.
  10. If you have a history of an ulcer or blood in your stool please make sure you focus on enzymes first, before the HCL. Please make sure you talk about this with Dr. J as well. As long as you are stable and there has been no active bleeding for a few months you can start with 1/8th of an HCL cap mixed with food is fine. As long as there is no irritation you can gradually increase a 1/8th of a cap. This is a very small dose and should be a safe way of dosing up. Just make sure it is done with food, please also add in the GI restore and Trucollagen to help rebuild the gut lining as well. 

  • If the HCL is too much, Swedish bitters, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar can be used first. Click here to access digestive support supplements.
  • When using bitters or Apple cider vinegar (ACV) or lemon juice, can mix 1 tsp in a few ounces of water, gradually tapper up and drink 5 min before food. 
Extreme Emergency Digestive Symptoms

  1. If you are having a reaction and or having HCL burning that is not getting better as you gently, start with a 3-7 day supplement holiday before following below. Make sure no new foods were added in during the mean time. 
  2. Work your way from the top of each Digestive program add in each supplement 1 time per day with each meal. Focus on healing and soothing supplements like the GI restore first, which helps reduce inflammation in the gut. 
  3. follow the protocol mentioned above, increase the dose in 1 cap increments vs larger increments. Find find the max dose on each supplement you can tolerate before moving down the protocol list to the next supplement. If you need to use 1/8th to 1/4 cap increments if burning reoccurs on the HCL, you can. If very sensitive you can start with the ACV or lemon juice first. 
  4. Once you have moved through the entire protocol once and you have been stable for one week, you can try to push the dose up to max protocol dose (or the max dose you can handle with out negative symptoms) following the same protocol above. Stabilize for one week before going back and trying to increase your protocol dose again. 
  5. For extreme diarrhea, activated charcoal can be used as well (1-4 caps at bed time till your stool solidifies). For extreme constipation, we can add in Oxypowder (1-4 caps at bed time till your bowels move the next day)

Digestive Supplements:

3. Digest Synergy (Lower dose enzymes and HCL support, good for maintenance digestive support). 
4. Liver Supreme (Bile Supports). Take just enough so your stools can sink. 
5. GI Restore (Healing and soothing nutrients to sooth the gut lining).
6. Activated Charcoal (Email the office). 

A couple points to clarify:

  1. If you eat a snack or a meal without much protein or a protein shake, you won’t need as much Betaine HCL (for a small snack like a piece of fruit you won’t need any at all.
  2. When you experience the GI discomfort finding your correct dosage, you can mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda in 8oz of water and drink it to help lessen the pain. You can also start taking the GI Restore support.
  3. Dr. Wright notes in his book that “paradoxically adverse symptoms are most likely to occur in individuals with the lowest levels of stomach acid. This is because these people are most likely to have atrophic gastritis (a thinned-out stomach lining), which makes them much more sensitive to even small quantities of HCL than a normal, thicker stomach lining.” This makes sense because a super inflamed stomach lining won’t have its normal protective barrier intact to contain the stronger acids. In this case, it is wise to start with digestive bitters or get smaller dosed HCL caps in conjunction enzymes.
  4. If you have low stomach acid and you can’t supplement with Betaine HCL, there are a few natural methods to help with symptoms. Start by taking a shot of lemon juice or vinegar just before your meal to help with digestion.
  5. Avoid drinking more than a few ounces of water with your food. This will dilute your digestive enzymes and raise the PH of your stomach. This will also make the acid in your stomach less potent and can create indigestion. I Need to Take How Many Betaine HCL Caps?
  6. It’s very common for people to stop short of their needed Betaine HCL dosage. In fact, in the beginning, I was nervous about taking 6 caps at a meal. Sometimes HCL levels need to get up to 3 to 5 grams per meal to have a therapeutic effect, start slow and work your way up, if you don't notice a difference back down to 2-3 caps per meal. 
  7. Remember a normal functioning stomach is capable of producing and handling extreme acid ranges. If your dosage starts getting extremely high without any GI distress, you must use your GI symptoms as a guide instead. These including burping, bloating, flatulence, and stool consistency. Keep everything else the same in your diet as you wait for these indicators to change for the better. For patients that are having a difficult time, there is usually an underlying gut infection that needs to be addressed to ensure long-term digestive success.