What Supplements are Best for Acid Reflux?
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
Table of Contents
- Supplements for Acid Reflux
- Scientific Evidence
- Dosage and Precautions
Acid reflux is a widespread digestive disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea. Despite the fact that over-the-counter antacids can provide relief, a growing number of people are turning to supplements as a natural means of symptom management. In this article, we will examine the most effective supplements for acid reflux, the scientific evidence supporting their efficacy, and the suggested dosages and precautions.
Acid reflux, also referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a chronic condition in which stomach contents flow back into the esophagus, causing discomfort and pain. Common symptoms include acid reflux, regurgitation, and nausea. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and the use of specific medications. Despite the fact that modifying one's lifestyle and taking medications can help manage symptoms, some people turn to supplements as an alternative or complementary treatment.
Supplements for Acid Reflux
By enhancing digestive health, reducing inflammation, and supporting the lining of the esophagus, dietary supplements can aid in the management of acid reflux symptoms. Here are some of the best acid reflux supplements:
Probiotics are beneficial to the gut microbiome and can improve digestive health. They can reduce inflammation and improve esophageal sphincter function, thereby preventing acid reflux symptoms. Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Streptococcus thermophilus are among the most effective probiotics for acid reflux.
Here you can check out our article on “Probiotics and Prebiotics”
Essential for breaking down food and enhancing nutrient absorption are digestive enzymes. Additionally, they can reduce inflammation and enhance digestion, thereby preventing acid reflux symptoms. Included among the most effective digestive enzymes for acid reflux are amylase, protease, and lipase.
DGL licorice is a type of licorice root that has been processed to remove glycyrrhizin, a compound that can cause adverse effects including high blood pressure. DGL licorice can reduce inflammation, improve digestive health, and protect the lining of the esophagus, thereby preventing acid reflux symptoms.
Marshmallow root is a herb that can help calm the digestive system and reduce inflammation. It can also improve the function of the esophageal sphincter, thereby preventing symptoms of acid reflux. The root of the marshmallow plant is available as a supplement or as a tea.
Slippery elm is a herb that can help reduce inflammation and soothe the digestive tract. It can also protect the esophageal lining and improve the function of the esophageal sphincter, thereby preventing symptoms of acid reflux. Slippery elm is available as a dietary supplement and as a tea.
There is some scientific evidence to support the use of acid reflux supplements. Some of the studies that have been conducted are as follows:
Probiotics' efficacy in treating acid reflux has been studied.
According to a 2016 systematic review, probiotics can help reduce acid reflux symptoms and improve digestive health. Probiotics were found to be effective in reducing heartburn, regurgitation, and bloating in 14 randomized controlled trials, according to the study.
Digestive enzymes and acid reflux research
A 2011 study discovered that digestive enzymes can help alleviate acid reflux symptoms. The study looked at 19 randomized controlled trials and found that digestive enzymes helped reduce heartburn, regurgitation, and bloating.
DGL Licorice clinical trials for acid reflux
A clinical trial in Japan discovered that DGL Licorice was effective in reducing acid reflux symptoms. The study included 60 people who were randomly assigned to either a placebo or a DGL Licorice extract. After four weeks, the DGL Licorice extract group reported a significant reduction in symptoms when compared to the placebo group.
Another study in Iran discovered that DGL Licorice was effective in reducing acid reflux symptoms in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The study included 60 patients who were randomly assigned to receive either DGL Licorice or omeprazole, a commonly used GERD medication. Both DGL Licorice and omeprazole were found to be effective in reducing symptoms, but DGL Licorice had fewer side effects.
DGL Licorice should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women because it may stimulate contractions or interfere with lactation. It may also interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and blood pressure medications, so talk to your doctor before taking DGL Licorice.
Dosage and Precautions
When taking acid reflux supplements, it's critical to stick to the recommended dosages and consider potential side effects and interactions with other medications.
Probiotics: The dosage of probiotics recommended varies depending on the strain and product. A daily dose of 1-10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) is generally regarded as safe and effective.
Digestive enzymes: The recommended dosage of digestive enzymes varies according to the product. A dose of 1-2 capsules before meals is usually recommended.
DGL Licorice: DGL Licorice is available in chewable tablets or capsules. The recommended dose is 300-400 mg three times per day, before meals.
Marshmallow root: Marshmallow root is available in capsules, tea, and tinctures. The recommended dose is 500-600 mg three times per day, before meals.
Slippery elm: Slippery elm can be taken in capsules, lozenges, or tea form. The recommended dose is 500-1000 mg three times per day before meals.
Precautions and possible side effects
While probiotics are generally safe and well-tolerated, some people may experience mild digestive discomforts such as gas and bloating when they first begin taking them. Probiotics may cause infections in people with weakened immune systems in rare cases.
These are generally safe, but some people may experience mild digestive discomfort or allergic reactions to the ingredients. High doses of digestive enzymes may also raise the risk of bleeding in people taking blood thinners.
Although DGL Licorice is generally safe, some people may experience mild side effects such as headaches, high blood pressure, or electrolyte imbalances. People with high blood pressure or kidney disease should avoid taking DGL Licorice.
Marshmallow root is generally safe, but in some people, it may cause mild side effects such as digestive discomfort or allergic reactions. Marshmallow root may also interfere with other medications' absorption, so it should be taken at least 2 hours before or after other medications.
Although slippery elm is generally safe, some people may experience mild side effects such as digestive discomfort or allergic reactions. Slippery elm may also interfere with other medications' absorption, so it should be taken at least 2 hours before or after other medications.
Other Medication Interactions
Probiotics may interact with antibiotics, immunosuppressants, and other immune-related medications. If you are taking any other medications, you should consult with your doctor before taking probiotics.
Digestive enzymes can interact with blood thinners like warfarin, increasing the risk of bleeding. If you are taking any other medications, you should consult your doctor before taking digestive enzymes.
Certain medications, such as blood pressure medications, diuretics, and corticosteroids, may interact with DGL Licorice. If you are taking any other medications, you should talk to your doctor before taking DGL Licorice.
Because marshmallow root can interfere with other medications' absorption, it should be taken at least 2 hours before or after other medications. If you are taking any other medications, you should consult your doctor before taking marshmallow root.
Because it may interfere with the absorption of other medications, it is best to take it separately from other supplements and medications. Although nausea is a rare side effect, it may occur. Before taking slippery elm, as with any supplement, consult with a healthcare provider.
Finally, supplements can be a beneficial addition to a comprehensive acid reflux treatment plan. Some of the most promising supplements for treating acid reflux symptoms are probiotics, digestive enzymes, DGL Licorice, marshmallow root, and slippery elm. However, before starting any new supplements, check with your doctor because they may interact with other medications and cause side effects.
While there is scientific evidence to support the use of certain acid reflux supplements, more research is needed to fully understand their efficacy and safety. Meanwhile, making lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding trigger foods, and eating smaller meals may help with acid reflux symptoms.
References and Resources