What is Betaine HCl Pepsin & Gentian Bitters? Doctor’s Best Betaine HCl Pepsin & Gentian Bitters may support the stomach’s digestive capacity and optimizes digestive efficiency. Betaine HCl may support the stomach’s digestive capacity by decreasing gastric pH. Pepsin is an enzyme produced by the body to digest protein-containing foods in the stomach. Pepsin works in conjunction with stomach acid to support protein digestion. Gentian is an herb used to optimize the digestive capacity. Its bitter nature may help to stimulate the body’s production of digestive enzymes. How does it work? Betaine HCl is the HCl form of Betaine hydrochloride used as a nutrient to supplement the stomach’s own production of hydrochloric acid, or stomach acid. Stomach acid is normally produced by the parietal cells of the stomach and the function of stomach acid is to break down food that enters the stomach into smaller fragments and nutrient components. Betaine HCl has been shown to lower gastric pH which could potentially aid in the absorption of nutrients during a period of hypochlorhydria, or a lack of stomach acid. Gentian is an herb that is native to parts of Europe and Asia. The root has been used extensively by traditional herbalists to support digestive function due in large part to its bitter constituents. Various traditional texts classify gentian as a bitter tonic and digestive stimulant, due to its ability to promote the secretion of digestive enzymes. Gentian has been shown to stimulate gastric secretions, as well as promote choleretic activity. Why should I take Betaine HCl Pepsin & Gentian Bitters? Supplementation with the combination of nutrients and cofactors present in Betaine HCl Pepsin & Gentian Bitters supports the normal digestive function of the stomach and may help the body maintain efficient nutrient absorption from the foods that we eat. Gentian serves to stimulate digestive secretions in the stomach, priming it to digest the food that we eat, while supplemental Betaine HCl and pepsin provide support to the body’s innate production of these digestive factors.