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Acid reflux, also known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), is a condition where stomach acid leaks back up into the gullet, causing pain. Standard treatment for GORD is a type of medication known as a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI), which reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
This latest study looked at the medical records of people with GORD to compare whether taking PPI treatment or following a Mediterranean-style diet with alkaline water was better at reducing symptoms. A Mediterranean diet is largely based on vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, cereal grains, olive oil and fish.
The study found the dietary changes were equally good at reducing symptoms as PPIs. This suggests dietary changes could be a first option to try for reflux symptoms, which may avoid the need for some people to take PPIs.
However, drug-free treatment may not be suitable for everyone (for example people whose symptoms are linked with stomach irritation or ulcers). Also, completely changing your diet can be complex and nutritional guidance may be needed.
Nevertheless, switching to a Mediterranean diet brings other health benefits such as reducing your risk of heart disease. Read more about the benefits of a the 1 last update 2020/05/30 Mediterranean diet.Nevertheless, switching to a Mediterranean diet brings other health benefits such as reducing your risk of heart disease. Read more about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet.
Where did the story come from?
The study was carried out by researchers from New York Medical College, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai and The Institute for Voice and Swallowing Disorders, Phelps Hospital, all in the US.
No sources of funding are reported. One author served on the scientific advisory board of Restech Corporation (a company that specialises in GORD treatment), for which he received no financial compensation. There were no other conflicts of interest reported.
The Mail Online''t know for sure that the Mediterranean diet had no adverse effects – for example, it could have a detrimental effect on other health measures (such as vitamin and mineral levels). Therefore we can't say with confidence that it has no side effects compared with drug treatment.
Making changes to the diet and adopting a more Mediterranean-style diet might be one simple first option that people or practitioners could consider as a way of managing reflux.
Analysis by Bazian
Edited by NHS Website
Links to the headlines
Mail Online, 7 September 2017
Links to the science
Zalvan CH, Hu S, Greenberg B, et al
JAMA Otolaryngogly – Head and Neck Surgery. Published online September 7 2017