Stomach acid tends to get bad press as it’s believed to be the cause of many digestive symptoms; and consequently, we take medications that suppress its secretion. There are multiple studies supporting the theory that suppressing stomach acid does not treat the problem. In fact, acid-suppressing medication interferes with the body’s natural ability to regular its own acid production.
But here is the truth – we need stomach acid to maintain a healthy digestive system. Taking Tums or other anti-acids will do more damage than good. Tums are calcium carbonate, a basic compound that is used to neutralize gastric acid. Did you know that the stomach is intended to be highly acidic for several very important reasons? The acidity neutralizes harmful pathogens like yeast and bacteria that enter the body in food. Another reason, the acidity activates the protein-digesting enzyme (pepsin) in the stomach which is required alongside hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid helps your body to break down, digest, and absorb nutrients such as protein.
Additionally, the acidic chyme triggers the release of further digestive secretions in the small intestines required for the full breakdown of food in order to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Let’s take a look at other Tums ingredients
Active Ingredients: Calcium Carbonate USP (1000 Mg), Antacid. Inactive Ingredients: Corn Starch, FD&C Red 40 Lake, FD&C Yellow 5 (Tartrazine) Lake, FD&C Yellow 6 Lake, Flavors, Mineral Oil, Sodium Polyphosphate, Sucrose, Talc.
Red 40 is considered one of the most toxic and harmful food colors out there. It’s made from petroleum or coal, so it is a synthetic dye.
Red 40 has found to be contaminated with carcinogens and these three along with Blue 1 can cause hypersensitivity reactions. There are studies linking Red 40 and Yellow 5 with ADHD and hyperactivity in children.
Norway and Finland have banned Yellow #6. It contains cancer-causing compounds. Yellow #6 causes tumors in the kidneys and adrenal glands of laboratory animals.
Researchers found that it did damage the DNA, causing the cell to mutate over time. After three hours of exposure, yellow 5 caused damage to human white blood cells in every concentration tested.
Tums also contains calcium which is absorbed into the body. Although calcium is vital for the bones and overall good health, too much calcium is dangerous and can lead to heart and kidney problems.
What to do instead
Since a majority of all cases of acid reflux are originally caused by low stomach acid, we should focus on regulating stomach digestion so that the reflux problem can be fixed.
- Taking an HCI or other digestive enzyme supplement will help restore proper digestion and ph levels in the stomach.
- Fermented foods like kimchee, sauerkraut can help to restore your body’s beneficial bacteria levels.
- Healing fats like fermented cod liver oil (find it here ) and coconut oil will decrease inflammation, and promote good digestion.
- Take wheatgrass: Wheatgrass Contains Digestive Enzymes. Your digestive system uses enzymes to breakdown food so it can absorb nutrients. If your body doesn’t have enough digestive enzymes, food won’t be broken down well enough for you to absorb nutrients. Find it here