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Today it’s common knowledge that heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD result from the acid secretion in the esophagus. Many of us have chewed on chalk-like pills, gulped down plenty of acid blockers (like Zantac or Pepcid), and may even be reliant on proton pump inhibitors (PPI) such as Prilosec, Prevacid, or Nexium.
However, according to a groundbreaking study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, GERD is actually caused by inflammation, not by hyperacidity. According to the researchers, GERD results from an inflammatory response prompted by the secretion of proteins called cytokines.
This doesn’t mean that acid-blocking medications (PPIs) are useless in treating GERD. Instead, it suggests that targeting inflammation is a better way to treat and cure GERD permanently, especially since long-term use of acid-blocking medications has serious side effects.
Some known side effects of acid-blockers include:
- Nutritional deficiencies: Including B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and zinc.
- Heart attacks: People who use the acid-blocking medication are more likely to suffer a heart attack than people who don’t use the drugs.
- Dementia: Users of acid-blocking medication are 44% more likely to get dementia.
- Other side effects: Some other common complaints of people taking acid-blockers include nausea, rash, and headaches.
So, if long-term use of acid-blocking medication is bad, what should you take instead? You may be wondering, “How can I cure my acid reflux naturally?” There are several all-natural, effective supplements that can help target the root cause of your acid reflux.
Here are 7 of the best supplements to take for GERD to treat inflammation:
1. Melatonin for acid reflux
Several studies have concluded that melatonin can block stomach acid secretion and limit stomach acid that enters the esophagus. After 40-days of treatment, one study found that 100% of people taking a melatonin supplement saw a reduction in symptoms compared to only 65.7% taking the common GERD medication, omeprazole.
Here’s one of our favorite natural melatonin supplements for acid reflux by NOW Supplements.
2. Zinc Carnosine
The use of zinc carnosine to improve symptoms of GERD has been extensively studied and used in Japan. A recent study concluded that this supplement could help restore the gastric lining and parts of the GI tract.
Doctor’s Best PepZin GI is specifically formulated to promotes a healthy stomach lining and relieve occasional gastric discomfort. Try 75 to 150 mg twice a day between meals or as recommended by your doctor.
3. L Glutamine Powder
L-glutamine is a powerful amino acid that can help heal gastritis and even stomach ulcers. A teaspoon of L-glutamine powder in four ounces of water taken with each meal can significantly improve your GERD or acid reflux symptoms.
This free-form L Glutamine powder is optimal for intestinal support and will improve your discomfort.
Probiotics are quickly becoming a popular approach to fight severe acid reflux. “Bad” stomach and gut bacteria can cause fermentation that will cause acid to bubble up too far. Probiotics are a simple way to help combat these unwanted bacteria.
This potent probiotic helps replenish healthy GI microflora, relieves occasional bloating, and can improve GI discomfort.
5. Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
According to a 2014 study, DGL can help promote mucus activity that may act as a barrier to acid in the stomach and esophagus. This barrier can also help damaged tissue to heal easier and prevent future acid reflux symptoms.
This combination of herbal extracts and potent DGL will help stimulate mucus production and relieve symptoms of acid reflux.
Magnesium is often found in antacids and acid reflux treatments. Magnesium can help neutralize the acid in your stomach and provide short-term relief to common acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
You can avoid paying too much for expensive antacid medication by taking a pure magnesium supplement. Pure Magnesium Glycinate capsules will help provide much of the same benefit by neutralizing stomach acid.
Alginate is the main ingredient in Gaviscon, the popular heartburn relief antacid product. Alginates are natural seaweed extract carbohydrates that produce a floating raft on top of the stomach contents. This effectively blocks acid from entering the esophagus.
As I’m sure you know, Gaviscon can be expensive when used regularly. You can save a significant amount of money and get the same effective Alginates using Relux Gourmet instead. This gourmet alginate formula works to safeguard the throat and esophagus from acid by creating a protective barrier. With no known side effects, Relux Gourmet is a great option for children and pregnant women.
You should avoid these supplements that cause acid reflux or worsen your symptoms:
- Citric Acid: The citric acid that presents in fruits and juices can irritate the esophagus. The stomach is built to withstand acidic food — the esophagus is not. Try to avoid citrus fruits and juices, like lemon, orange, tangerine, lime, and grapefruit. Additionally, coffee and most alcoholic drinks include citric acid. When buying drinks, check the label to ensure citric acid isn’t being used — it’s often used in flavorings.
- Vitamin C: In some people, vitamin C may cause or worsen acid reflux. Fortunately, there’s a special form, known as buffered vitamin c, that is actually a good alternative for people who want or need it but want to avoid the negative effects.
- Vitamin B-6: High doses of this supplement can irritate or worsen acid reflux or GERD symptoms in some people. This includes foods like pork, poultry, peanuts, oats, and bananas.
As you can see, there’s no need to suffer from heartburn or acid reflux — or to take dangerous acid-blocking drugs. There are plenty of natural remedies for acid reflux that can be just as effective. However, be sure to consult with a qualified medical health professional before starting any new diet or supplementation program.