What the Medical Profession won't tell you about Acid Reflux Drugs

08/20/2015 11:00

by Joshua Corn

If you're currently taking a proton-pump inhibitor like Prilosec, Protonix or Nexium (or are considering taking one), what you will read in the next few minutes could literally save your life. These popular acid-blocking drugs, at best, merely mask the symptoms of acid reflux and do absolutely nothing to address the underlying problem. And what's much, much worse, is that they have serious—sometimes deadly—consequences that few doctors will ever warn you about, including bone loss[1], nutrient deficiencies[2] and increased risk of life-threatening infections.[3,4]  Even more disturbing is that these drugs have rebound symptoms, meaning they can actually make the problem worse! Plus they can be highly addictive.[5]

 

There are safe, natural and effective solutions that offer relief from the discomfort of occasional heartburn and acid indigestion, the idea that millions of people think they have no other options for relief is especially troubling. In my opinion, doctors who don't discuss these natural options with their patients are committing malpractice.

According to the FDA, the acid-blocking drugs millions of people take day-in and day-out for years to "manage" their reflux symptoms are really only considered safe to take for 2 weeks?[6]  Yet this is a far cry from how these drugs are typically prescribed. They're given out regularly with never-ending refills, and many people take these dangerous drugs continually for years on end.

Acid-blocking medications account for a huge portion of the pharmaceutical industry's profits because people are led to believe that they are "effective" at reducing stomach acid secretion by up to 99%. However, there is a gaping and very dangerous hole in this logic.

 

Common sense tells us that acid is in our stomachs for a reason. It's essential for digestion, nutrient absorption, immune health and a wide range of other basic bodily functions. Moreover, it's a proven fact that acid production declines sharply with age, while acid reflux becomes increasingly common as we grow older.

So if acid reflux is more often associated with declining acid production, how can completely shutting off acid production improve the situation? It can't!  The fact is, the majority of people who suffer from occasional acid reflux actually have too little stomach acid. Yet this is entirely contrary to what most people—even most doctors—are led to believe. It's the GREAT LIE perpetuated by Big Pharma to sell billions of dollars worth of addictive, dangerous and sometimes even deadly acid-blocking drugs each year.

 

Research has shown that three natural ingredients have remarkable effectiveness in relieving occasional heartburn and acid indigestion, [Also, Cottage Cheese ingested immediately upon onset of acid reflux often arrests it.. - ED] while helping soothe the mucosal lining of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. The results are fast, the benefits long lasting, and most importantly, you'll experience no side effects whatsoever!
 

Acid Relief Solution #1
DGL: The Licorice Soother


You might be familiar with licorice as a sweet flavoring agent, but licorice also has a long history of use as a soother of digestive discomfort. And there's a special preparation of licorice called deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL for short that is extremely effective at this.

Multiple scientific studies have shown that DGL has the ability to restore the integrity of the esophageal, stomach and intestinal lining by increasing the secretion of protective mucus that lines the gastrointestinal tract. This lining is a key component of the stomach's defense against the erosive properties of acid, and by increasing mucus production with DGL, your body's natural protective barrier is strengthened.

One double-blind study compared the benefits of DGL to the conventional approach and found that it was equally as effective when evaluated at both six and twelve weeks of use.[7]  Other clinical trials have demonstrated the benefits of DGL for supporting the integrity of the stomach lining, including one four-week trial that showed that DGL was significantly more effective than a placebo.[8]

While licorice is generally very safe, there's a common side effect that can be problematic if you choose the wrong form: One of the active compounds it contains can elevate blood pressure. This is not an issue with DGL since this special preparation of licorice has had the blood pressure elevating compound, glycyrrhizin, removed.

In addition, research on a specific form of DGL, called GutGuard®, has shown it can also help with functional dyspepsia, or discomfort in the upper belly or abdomen occurring during or right after eating.[9]

 

Acid Relief Solution #2
The Healing Power of Slippery Elm

Slippery elm (Ulmas fulva) is an herb famous for its soothing properties. As the name implies, extracts of the bark of the slippery elm tree are often "slippery" due to the fact that its mucilage, found in the inner bark, produces copious amounts of compounds called polysaccharides. These compounds are very similar in nature to the makeup of the mucus in your stomach that protects it from stomach acid and can augment your body's own mucus production, helping to protect the lining of the esophagus, stomach and intestines.[10]

The polysaccharides found in slippery elm have a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine for helping to soothe and relieve irritated internal tissue along the gastrointestinal tract. Known as a demulcent, slippery elm can also help to promote a healthy inflammatory response in the stomach and intestines, making it a valuable ally for promoting healthy overall digestion in addition to helping with acid problems.[11]

 

Acid Relief Solution #3
Cooling Aloe Vera


Most people are familiar with the healing properties of aloe vera. If you split open a fresh aloe leaf, you will see the thick, mucus-like gel contained inside. Perhaps you may have applied this gel to irritated skin as a soothing agent. Well, like slippery elm, aloe is also rich in the polysaccharides that help to restore the cells in your esophagus and digestive tract.

While aloe vera has been used historically for a variety of healing purposes, only in recent years have scientists identified specific compounds that may account for its unique ability to soothe and heal tissue. One study found that aloe vera supplementation resulted in improved intestinal motility and other markers of gastrointestinal health. Study participants reported reduced bloating after meals and reduced flatulence.[12]

Another double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of aloe vera for supporting a healthy inflammatory response in the intestines. Researchers found that oral aloe vera taken for four weeks produced measurable improvements with no side effects.[13]  However, like licorice, the aloe plant has some properties that can come with some unwanted side effects. There is a portion of the aloe leaf referred to as the latex, which acts as a powerful laxative, and you want to find an aloe product that has the latex portion removed to avoid this side effect. ACTIValoe® is one such brand.

 

Scientific References

1. Am J Gastroenterol. 2011; in press.
2. Curr Op Gastroenterol. 2011;27:180–185.
3. Am J Ther. 2008;15:536–542.
4. JAMA. 2009;302(1):31-32.
5. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010;105:1538–1540.
6. www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm213206.htm
7. Gut. 1982;23:545-551.
8. Gut. 1969;10:299-302.
9. Unpublished paper: http://www.humanclinicals.org/gutguard
10. Wren RC, et al. Potter's New Cyclopedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations.
Essex, UK: CW Daniel Company, 1988, 252.
11. University of Maryland Medical Center. Slippery Elm. Accessed 2015:
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/slippery-elm
12. Preventive Medicine. 1985;14(2):152-4.
13. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2004;19:739-747.




Joshua Corn, Editor-in-Chief of the Live in the Now newsletter, is a health freedom advocate who's been involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years. He's always been dedicated to promoting health, vitality, longevity and natural living. Josh is currently writing a book on natural remedies and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, organic gardener and animal lover and enjoys "living in the now" with his wife and two sons. Copyright © 2015. Spectator.org