NOW® Betaine HCl is formulated to support proper digestive conditions in the stomach.* Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) is normally produced in the stomach, where it assists protein digestion by activating pepsin, helps to maintain a healthy balance of gut flora, and stimulates the release of intestinal enzymes.* Pepsin is a protease produced in the stomach that partially breaks down proteins in foods.* HCl production tends to decline with age, so supplementing with HCl and pepsin may help to maintain normal digestive function.* This product uses a vegetarian acid-stable protease with activity equivalent to that of animal-derived pepsin.