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Based on theories about the importance of stomach acid to overall health, betaine hydrochloride has been recommended for a wide variety of problems, including: asthma , digestive problems , excess candida , food allergies , hay fever , lupus , rheumatoid arthritis , and many other conditions. When one sees such broadly encompassing uses, it is not surprising to find that there is as yet no real scientific research on its effectiveness for any of these conditions.
Many naturopathic physicians also believe that betaine hydrochloride can heal ulcers and esophageal reflux (heartburn) . This sounds paradoxical, since conventional treatment for those conditions involves reducing stomach acid, while betaine hydrochloride increases it. However, according to one theory, lack of stomach acid leads to incomplete digestion of proteins, and these proteins cause allergic reactions and other responses that lead to digestive problems, which in turn cause ulcers and heartburn. Again, scientific evidence is lacking.