The big idea of this book strangely enough is that stomach acid is good for you! Strange only in the fact that after reading the book you realize how contradictory this is to conventional beliefs about stomach acid. Evidently, political and economic interests have been at play causing patients to be duped by doctors and the pharmaceutical industry who push a variety of anti-acid producing drugs.
The author explains how stomach acid is crucial for the digestive process. It promotes the absorption of many nutrients, helps you digest protein by stimulating Pepsin production, kills viruses and bacteria, and kills fungal overgrowth. The ability to break down the foods you eat is crucial and lack of stomach acid makes it difficult to absorb the nutrients needed for the body. In fact, if the condition of low stomach acid continues over time (hypochlorhydria) it may lead to several diseases and conditions such as anemia, osteoporosis, and depression, to name a few.
A major point of the book nutritionally, is that even though you may eat a great diet with rich nutritional diversity, if you have low stomach acid or take acid blockers, you may still wind up with issues. It seems prudent then to test your stomach acid and take other measures that are covered toward the latter sections of the book. This combined with an already healthy whole food diet should improve a variety of conditions over time.
Nutritionally, what the book provides is a good review of the functions of essential nutrients in the body and how inadequate amounts of stomach acid specifically affect the body in very negative ways. The book talks about minerals such as iron, and vitamins such as calcium and B12 and how poor digestion can trigger issues like anemia, brittle bones, and cardiovascular irregularities.
The book is not a proponent of acid blocking drugs for long periods of time. I was shocked to read the anecdote of one gentleman who had been taking Tagament for so many years that he had grayish skin. Other studies have shown that Prilosec can block the absorption of vitamin B12. Antacids were shown to lower zinc levels and even lead to Macular Degeneration!