If you have regular heartburn you may be taking a Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) drug to treat it such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid. The Danger of Heartburn drugs or PPIs is that they’ve been linked to serious health problems but they only treat the symptoms of heartburn not the underlying cause. Heartburn is usually caused by not having enough stomach acid rather than too much, PPI’s suppress stomach acid production causing the condition to worsen. The solution starts with the food you feed your gut. Feeding your gut real foods like fresh vegetables and other unprocessed foods will help restore your natural gastric balance. Explore some natural alternatives to treating heartburn listed at mercola.com below.
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Acid reflux typically results from having too little acid in your stomach. You can easily improve the acid content of your stomach by taking one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water.
Another option is to take a betaine hydrochloric supplement. You’ll want to take as many as you need to get the slightest burning sensation and then decrease by one capsule. This will help your body to better digest your food, and will also help kill the H. pylori bacteria.
One-half to 1 full teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in an 8-ounce glass of water may ease the burn of acid reflux as it helps neutralize stomach acid. I would not recommend this as a regular solution but it can sure help in an emergency when you are in excruciating pain.
The juice of the aloe plant naturally helps reduce inflammation, which may ease symptoms of acid reflux. Drink about 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice before meals. If you want to avoid its laxative effect, look for a brand that has removed the laxative component.
Ginger has been found to have a gastroprotective effect by blocking acid and suppressing helicobacter pylori.28 According to a 2007 study,29 it’s also far superior to lansoprazole for preventing the formation of ulcers, exhibiting six- to eight-fold greater potency over the drug.
Add 2 or 3 slices of fresh ginger root to 2 cups of hot water. Let steep for about half an hour. Drink about 20 minutes or so before your meal.
Vitamin D is important for addressing any infectious component. Once your vitamin D levels are optimized, you’re also going to optimize your production of about 200 antimicrobial peptides that will help your body eradicate any infection that shouldn’t be there.
As I’ve discussed in many previous articles, you can increase your vitamin D levels through sensible sun exposure, a tanning bed, or an oral vitamin D3 supplement.
This exceptionally potent antioxidant was found to reduce symptoms of acid reflux in patients when compared to a placebo, particularly in those with pronounced helicobacter pylori infection.30 Best results were obtained at a daily dose of 4 mg.
Slippery elm coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines, and contains antioxidants that can help address inflammatory bowel conditions. It also stimulates nerve endings in your gastrointestinal tract. This helps increase mucus secretion, which protects your gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity.
The University of Maryland Medical Center 31 makes the following adult dosing recommendations:
Tea: Pour 2 cups boiling water over 4 g (roughly 2 tablespoons) of powdered bark, then steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Drink 3 times per day.
Tincture: 5 mL, 3 times per day.
Capsules: 400 to 500 mg 3 to 4 times daily for 4 to 8 weeks. Take with a full glass of water.
Lozenges: follow dosing instructions on label.
Research32 published in 2009 found that gastrointestinal damage caused by H. pylori can be addressed with the amino acid glutamine, found in many foods, including beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products and some fruits and vegetables. L-glutamine, the biologically active isomer of glutamine, is also widely available as a supplement.
Folate or folic acid (vitamin B9) and other B vitamins
Research33 suggests B vitamins can reduce your risk for acid reflux. Higher folic acid intake was found to reduce acid reflux by approximately 40 percent. Low vitamin B2 and B6 levels were also linked to an increased risk for acid reflux.
The best way to raise your folate levels is by eating folate-rich whole foods, such as liver, asparagus, spinach, okra, and beans.
A dietary supplement containing melatonin, l-tryptophan, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, methionine and betaine, was found to be superior to the drug omeprazole in the treatment of GERD.34
Part of the success is thought to be due to melatonin’s inhibitory activity on nitric oxide biosynthesis, which plays an important role in transient lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxation, which, as I mentioned earlier, is part of the real underlying problem of GERD.
Impressively, 100 percent of patients receiving this supplement reported a complete regression of symptoms after 40 days of treatment, compared to just under 66 percent of those taking omeprazole. The authors concluded that “this formulation promotes regression of GERD symptoms with no significant side effects.”
Dr. Della Parker promotes the Real Food Diet. To follow the real food diet or a modified paleo diet you basically you need to eat real food! So here it is… Meat, vegetables and fruit. This is why our stomach pH is acidic and we have teeth meant for shredding and tearing. Animal protein provides you with nutrients, amino acids, and collagen that cannot be found in other foods. Learn more about Dr. Parker’s Real Food Diet here.