6 vitamins and supplements for acid reflux


Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common digestive problem.

It is associated with a range of side effects, including heartburn, nausea, belching, and stomach pain (1).

In addition to medications like antacids and proton pump inhibitors, most acid reflux treatments involve changes in diet or lifestyle.

There are also many vitamins, herbs, and supplements that can help relieve symptoms.

Here are 6 supplements that may be of benefit for the treatment of acid reflux.

Betaine hydrochloride (HCl) is a compound used to increase stomach acidity (2).

Low levels of stomach acid can slow digestion and absorption of nutrients, as well as cause a range of side effects, including heartburn, stomach pain, and acid reflux (3).

A study of 6 people with low levels of stomach acid showed that taking 1,500 mg of betaine hydrochloride increased stomach acid (4).

Betaine hydrochloride is also combined with pepsin in many supplements. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme in stomach acid that breaks down proteins into smaller units (5).

A 6-week study of 97 people with indigestion found that taking pepsin in combination with amino acid hydrochloride significantly reduced symptoms such as stomach pain and heartburn (6).

That said, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that there is currently not enough evidence to guarantee the effectiveness of betaine HCl or pepsin in increasing the acidity of stomach (7).

Therefore, more research is needed to determine whether betaine HCl with pepsin may be of benefit for the treatment of acid reflux.

summary

Some studies indicate that betaine hydrochloride may increase stomach acidity in people with low stomach acid levels, thereby reducing symptoms of acid reflux. Pepsin can also relieve symptoms of indigestion, but more research is needed.

Some research suggests that B vitamins, including folate, riboflavin, and vitamin B6, may help treat acid reflux.

In fact, one study found that an increased intake of several B vitamins was associated with a lower risk of reflux esophagitis, a condition characterized by inflammation of the esophagus often caused by acid reflux (8).

Additionally, higher intakes of folate and vitamin B6 were linked to a lower risk of esophageal cancer and a disease called Barrett’s esophagus, both of which are potential complications of long-term GERD (8).

Another older study compared the effectiveness of a supplement containing vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, L-tryptophan, melatonin, betaine and methionine to treatment over-the-counter for heartburn (9).

After 40 days of treatment, 100% of those who took the supplement experienced complete relief from heartburn symptoms, compared to only 65% ​​of those who took the over-the-counter treatment (9).

However, keep in mind that the B vitamins were only one component of this supplement, so it is unclear what effect the B vitamins may have had specifically.

More research is needed to assess how B vitamins can affect the symptoms of acid reflux when used alone.

summary

B vitamins may be linked to a lower risk of complications from acid reflux. They can also relieve heartburn symptoms when combined with other compounds, but more research is needed.

Melatonin is a hormone primarily responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle (ten).

Although it is generally used to treat insomnia and improve the quality of sleep, some studies have shown that melatonin can also help in the treatment of acid reflux.

According to a study of 36 people, taking melatonin, alone or with heartburn medication, for 4 to 8 weeks reduced symptoms of GERD (11).

Other research has shown that low levels of melatonin may also be associated with a higher risk of digestive disorders, including peptic ulcers and acid reflux (12).

What’s more, some studies suggest that melatonin may help protect against inflammation of the esophagus, which may prevent long-term health problems associated with GERD, such as Barrett’s esophagus (13, 14).

summary

Some research indicates that melatonin may reduce acid reflux and protect against long-term health problems caused by GERD.

Iberogast is an over-the-counter supplement commonly used to treat acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

It is made from a blend of plant extracts including peppermint, licorice root, and milk thistle fruit.

A review of 12 studies showed that Iberogast is generally well tolerated and may help reduce symptoms of indigestion more effectively than a placebo (15).

Another study of 272 people found that Iberogast significantly improved digestive symptoms, such as upper stomach pain, heartburn, and loss of appetite, within 15 minutes of the first. dose (16).

Additionally, an animal study found Iberogast to be as effective as a traditional antacid in reducing stomach acidity. It also hampered rebound acidity, which is an increase in stomach acid once the drugs are stopped (17).

summary

Iberogast is an herbal supplement that can help reduce stomach acidity and relieve symptoms of acid reflux.

Probiotics are a type of beneficial bacteria found in the digestive tract. They play a key role in gut health and immune function (18).

Some research has shown that supplementing with probiotics can help reduce symptoms of acid reflux.

For example, a review of 13 studies found that 79% of them found that probiotics had beneficial effects on GERD symptoms, including reduced regurgitation, less heartburn, and less pain in the stomach. stomach and nausea (19).

In another 12-week study, combining heartburn medications with probiotics reduced the risk of treatment relapse, compared with a control group who received only heartburn medication. stomach (20).

Additionally, a recent study found that taking probiotics may reduce the risk of changes in the gut flora caused by long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used to treat GERD (21).

summary

Probiotics can help improve symptoms of acid reflux and reduce the risk of treatment relapse when used with heartburn medications. Probiotics can also help prevent changes in the gut flora caused by PPIs.

Ginger, which is scientifically known as Zingiber officinale, is an herb that is used both as a spice and as an herbal supplement.

It is often used to soothe an upset stomach and treat problems like nausea and indigestion (22).

A small study found that taking 3 grams of ginger powder per day for 4 weeks improved several symptoms of indigestion, including stomach pain, belching, and feelings of fullness (23).

Another study found that ginger can speed up stomach emptying. Delayed gastric emptying can contribute to symptoms of acid reflux, such as heartburn and regurgitation (24, 25).

Other research suggests that combining ginger with other plant extracts, such as perilla and artichoke leaf, may also provide relief from acid reflux (26, 27).

That said, consuming large amounts of ginger can cause unwanted side effects and worsen issues like heartburn and upset stomach, so be sure to only use it as directed (28).

summary

Ginger can improve symptoms of indigestion and help speed up stomach emptying. It can also decrease acid reflux when combined with other ingredients, such as perilla and artichoke leaf.

A variety of natural remedies can help treat acid reflux, including many vitamins and supplements.

In particular, supplements like Betaine HCl with pepsin, B vitamins, melatonin, Iberogast, probiotics, and ginger have been shown to help relieve symptoms of acid reflux.

For best results, be sure to combine these supplements with other healthy diet and lifestyle changes to help reduce acid reflux.


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