There is a little known bad effect of eating a high fiber diet. Most recommendation on the amount of fiber to eat is in the range of 30 to 40 gm per day. And as you age this becomes more important since high fiber diets help you remove excess cholesterol in the colon and help regulate your bowel movements. In addition, fiber helps to remove toxins from your colon and provide food for the good bacterial.
What you are not told about fiber is that fiber can bind with certain nutrients and minerals and they get tied up in your stools before they get absorbed into your blood stream. This condition can occur when your stomach acid gets weak. And the weaker it gets, higher values of pH - 3.5, 4, 5, and 6 - the more nutrients you lose to stool formation.
There are two situations where your stomach acid gets weak. First, as you age, your ability to create and release HCl acid from your stomach walls decreases. Second, at any age, if you take any type of drug to decreased your stomach acid strength in an effort to reduce acid reflux damage to your esophagus. Both these condition in combination with a high fiber diet lead to a more minerals tied up in chyme or stools.
Here's how you lose the minerals. Phytate, a chemical found in grains, cereal and seeds, and fiber easily combine with nutrients and minerals. This complex of phytate, fiber, and minerals - calcium, manganese, iron, copper, nickel, or zinc - are easily absorbed when your stomach acid is the natural value of ph 1 - 3. As your stomach acid weakens and the pH rises to 4, 5, 6, and even 7, the complex become more insoluble and not absorbable. To make matters worse is if you have plenty of calcium and magnesium in this complex, it will tie up other mineral and make them insoluble.
There is one other condition that occurs with weaken stomach acid. Digestion of protein is decrease leaving more undigested protein to move into the colon. It is this undigested protein and constipation that can lead to colon cancer, especially if the protein has been cured with nitrites.
Here's how to avoid becoming mineral deficient. Keep your diet high in fiber by eating raw fruits and vegetable. If you are over 50 and perhaps 60, your stomach acid has been on the decline. Taking HCl and pepsin tablets can overcome this condition. But to use these acid tablets you need to use them in a special way and that will be covered in another article.
If you have acid reflux avoid using acid neutralizers such as Tums or Rolaids. Avoid, also, taking acid blocking drugs such as Prilosec. These drugs play with your acid levels and make you more susceptible to mineral loss. There are natural remedies that can help you eliminate acid reflux and if you work with a nutritionist, he can help define a diet that will stop acid reflux safely.