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Could Going Mostly Vegetarian Relieve Acid Reflux?

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Natural Society

Acid reflux is a very common condition, where stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus or throat, causing symptoms such as a burning chest pain (heartburn). The ailment is often treated with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which may be effective, but can cause poor digestion and related issues such as osteoporosis, kidney problems, heart attacks, and even dementia. All the while, people may just find the relief they are looking for if they’re willing to adopt a nearly-vegetarian diet.

Due to the potential side effects of PPIs, even some doctors of conventional medicine are looking for dietary approaches to treat reflux. One of these doctors, Dr. Craig Zalvan, studied almost 200 people to compare the use of PPIs and a mostly vegetarian diet in treating laryngopharyngeal reflux. [1]

Most people only know acid reflux as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but another type known as laryngopharyngeal reflux also affects many worldwide. This differs from GERD in that it does not cause heartburn, but instead symptoms such as hoarseness, persistent cough, and a constant need to clear the throat.

Anyway, he began to advise individuals to eat a 90% plant-based diet, focusing on vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruit, and nuts. Meat and dairy intake were limited to 2 or 3 moderate-sized servings per week. For this study, he and other researchers looked at the records of 99 patients given the new dietary advice, and 85 others who were only prescribed PPIs and standard advice between 2010 and 2012.

Read: PPIs for Acid Reflux – Costs May Well Outweigh Benefits

After 6 weeks of both treatments, relief of symptoms was shown. Almost 2/3 of patients (63%) advised to go mostly-vegetarian had an at least 6-point drop in their scores on the reflux symptom index, which considered to be a clinically significant improvement.

As for the PPI group, 54% had an at least 6-point drop in their symptom scores. Those who changed their diet lost an average of 8 pounds, which may have explained some of the effect. On the other hand, there is a growing understanding that reflux may be an inflammatory disorder, and these dietary changes are known to reduce inflammation.

It has been known for years now that a plant-based diet can significantly benefit our health and longevity. The Seventh-Day Adventists of Loma Linda live an average of 4-10 years longer than expected for Californians, one reason revolving around their mostly-vegetarian diet. [2]

Most of their average diet is made of vegetables, grains, beans, fruit, and nuts. They avoid alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, and pork; have healthy social lives including volunteering; and regular exercise isn’t uncommon for those in their 90’s.

It’s time to take this to the mainstream.

Additional Sources:

[1] WorldHealth

[2] Life Extension



Source: http://naturalsociety.com/could-going-mostly-vegetarian-relieve-acid-reflux-2427/


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