Situations such as a long-term illness, gall bladder removal, overuse of antacids, and normal aging can contribute to the insufficient secretion of stomach acid, pancreatic enzymes, and bile, any one of which can lead to various symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort.* Maldigestion can result in the insufficient absorption of nutrients, giving rise to vitamin deficiencies (particularly vitamins A, D, E, and K) and food allergies. Thorne's Bio-Gest offers broad-spectrum digestive support with hydrochloric acid, pepsin, pancreatin, and ox bile, each of which is important for those individuals who need more effective protein and carbohydrate digestion, and fat emulsification and absorption.* Unlike many comparable digestive aid supplements, Bio-Gest utilizes pepsin and pancreatin that are undiluted and lactose-free.
Hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach accomplishes several positive things. It assists protein digestion by activating pepsinogen to pepsin; it maintains a sterile environment in the stomach to resist ingested pathogens; it inhibits undesirable overgrowth in the small intestine; and it facilitates the flow of bile from the liver and enzymes from the pancreas.* Hydrochloric acid also facilitates the absorption of a number of important nutrients, including folate, vitamin B12, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, iron, and several forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc.* Numerous studies have shown that hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach begins to decline with advancing age. The overuse of antacids also leads to low levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which results in poor protein digestion.* Thorne offers hydrochloric acid and pepsin from a porcine source.
Pancreatin is a mixture of several digestive enzymes that are produced by cells in the pancreas. Pancreatin is composed of amylase, lipase, and protease. Pancreatin production and secretion by the pancreas is essential to digestion and absorption of numerous nutrients, especially fats.*