Acid reflux is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract. It occurs when the acid stomach moves into your esophagus. This causes a great deal of discomfort and can also damage your esophagus if it happens frequently.
Many treatments exist for acid reflux. They include medications, lifestyle changes, and other alternative therapies.
One such therapy is probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Bad bacteria cause illness and discomforting symptoms.
There are many kinds of probiotics. Some probiotics are present in foods, such as yogurt. Others are available as topical creams and supplements.
Probiotics are used in the treatment of many gastrointestinal conditions. However, more research is ongoing to determine their effect on symptoms of acid reflux.
While you may not need probiotics to be healthy, it is essential to note that probiotics provide many benefits. For example, they enhance digestion and also protect against harmful bacteria.
Probiotics help with:
· Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome
· Treatment of diarrhea
· Prevention of colds or the flu
· Prevention of stomach ulcers
· Speeds up the treatment of some intestinal infections
· Prevention or treatment of urinary tract infections
· Prevention of treatment of vaginal yeast infections
Probiotics are present in dairy foods like yogurt. You can also take them as supplements.
Here’s the thing: very little research has been done on the effects of probiotics on acid reflux. However, a growing field of thought says that probiotics can alleviate acid reflux. In addition, of course, probiotics are helpful in rebalancing gut flora, but are they effective against H. pylori? Well, it is believed that they can help in many ways.
Probiotics are believed to boost the barrier against H. pylori through the production of antimicrobial substances. It competes with H. pylori for receptors of adhesion on the stomach lining. It also stabilizes the mucosal barrier of the gastrointestinal tract. It is also believed that Lactobacilli produces relatively large amounts of lactate, which acts as an inhibitory factor of H. pylori. Probiotics are also capable of modifying inflammatory levels by interacting with epithelial cells and managing inflammatory protein secretion.
Many people can consume probiotics without having any adverse side effects. However, in some cases, minor side effects may be experienced, including bloating and mild gas.
Probiotics may not be healthy for people with underlying health conditions. You must consult your healthcare provider before using a probiotic if you have a chronic illness or receiving treatment for a severe medical condition. In addition, older adults or people who have a weak immune system should consult their healthcare provider before including probiotics on their regimen.
It is worth mentioning that probiotics are dietary supplements. As such, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The implication is that they do not undergo thorough testing like other medications. In addition, the ingredients in probiotic supplements vary based on the manufacturer, so caution must be applied when using them.
· Apple cider vinegar
· Natural probiotics (whole-milk, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir).
· Betaine hydrochloride
Acid reflux is a common condition among adults. However, you can control infrequent acid reflux by making adjustments to lifestyle choices. For example, eating smaller meals, moderating alcohol intake, and increasing your level of physical activity can help reduce the symptom of infrequent reflux.
If you want to try probiotics, then you must consider the following:
· Try prebiotic-laden foods, like yogurt
· Study supplement labels taking note of the ingredients as they may vary across brands.
· Stop usage if you experience any unusual side effects
Cheng J, Ouwehand AC. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Probiotics: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2020;12(1):132. Published 2020 Jan 2. doi:10.3390/nu12010132
Benninga M.A., Faure C., Hyman P.E., St James Roberts I., Schechter N.L., Nurko S. Childhood Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Neonate/Toddler. Gastroenterology. 2016;150:1443–1455.
Schmulson M.J., Drossman D.A. What Is New in Rome IV. J. Neurogastroenterol. Motil. 2017;23:151–163.
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