The HCL Protocol is a method developed by Dr. Bob Marshall of Premier Research Labs (not the same as The Marshall Protocol recommended by Trevor Marshall... they are vastly different.)
The protocol entails taking Betaine Hydrochloride capsules, starting out with one pill per meal, adding an additional pill every day, eventually working up to 30 pills a day per meal (25 if you cut out meat consumption). Yes, 30! I know, it's a lot. Don't worry though, this much HCL is not dangerous. In fact it is the normal amount of HCL that would be present daily in the stomach of a healthy 20 year old.
You see HCL is a naturally occuring acid in the stomach that is responsible for breaking down proteins, so your body can process them and acts as a protective coating that kills potentially harmful organisms in our food. It also is used by our body when we eat acid forming foods or engage in activity that produce acid (hydrogen ions), circulating through our blood and interstitial fluids, eating up the acidic material and assisting in the elimination of the excessive tissue acidity.
For the treatment of Lyme Disease the HCL gets into the blood and interstial fluids and attacks the outer layer (biofilms or cysts, whichever way you look at it) and strips it away so that your immune system can now read the protein codes that had previously been hidden and our immune system will then hopefully attack the spirochete.
The naturopath practitioner that I see says that the Zyto scan system will either recommend the HCL Protocol or the Cowden Protocol depending on what type of Lyme you have and what your body reads as responding to the best. My guess is if you have earlier stage Lyme, the Cowden Protocol would be recommended as that protocol treats more active stages of Lyme. The HCL Protocol attacks the cyst form (most likely in late stage Lyme) and breaks down biofilms.
I had a difficult time finding a ton of information on this treatment method for Lyme, unlike other methods. However, I do know of a well-known LLMD, who primarily prescribes antibiotics, that sends patients home with a sheet stating how some of his colleuges patients have had success with this protocol, warning though that if no improvements are seen within 30 days it is likely not working for you.
I am using the HCL from PR Labs. I initially thought they seemed expensive but after researching similar products from other companies I found them to be pretty comparable, plus the quality is excellent. In addition to the HCL you also take something called an HCL Activator which contains a blend of spices, Royal Jelly Extract and Turmeric to boost the HCL's effectiveness.
I'm excited about the possibilities of this working for me. I would add that, although my naturopath says this therapy has been effective in all of her clients, including herself, I do not plan on using this as my only approach. Again, food plays an enourmous role in building the immune system, so I am still working on modifying my diet and making natural lifestyle changes, I'm incorporating the use of essential oils into my daily life and I'm also looking into addressing hidden issues inside my mouth ( a new avenue that many LLMD's are finding necessary in treating to completely remove the Lyme bacteria from the body and prevent relapse.) I also plan on, after the first 30 days on the HCL protocol, purchasing a Rife machine and giving my immune system some help in blasting those spirochete suckers (a recommendation of Bryan Rosner's, author of When Antibiotics Fail: Lyme Disease and Rife Machines ).
I'm slowly working on posts to explain what I'm doing in each of these areas and hope to share those with you soon.
Don't forget to sign up for the FREE Healthy Life Summit 2013 which starts this weekend. I'm so excited about this... I'm hoping it will give me some more tools in fighting this disease, and you as well.