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How can you use probiotics for acid reflux?
Acid rebound or acid reflux, also known as gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common condition, affecting almost half the population of America alone. People suffering from acid rebound experience symptoms of heartburn and acidity, generally after meals. Most often, people use antacids or proton pump inhibitors to control acid reflux. The problem is there grows a dependence on these drugs and if you stop taking them, the problem worsens.
Using probiotics for acid reflux
Recent studies show that acid reflux probiotics can be quite effective in controlling acid rebound and heartburn. They work in the following way:
When you eat, the food passes from the mouth through the esophagus to the stomach. The point of entrance into the stomach is guarded by a ring of muscles called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES. This LES closes to keep the food in the stomach.
For people suffering from acid rebound, this LES does not close properly. As a result, semi digested food, mixed with the stomach acids like hydrochloric acid flows back into the esophagus. This phenomenon is known as acid reflux.
The common response to this acid rebound is taking antacids. The problem is, if you keep on taking these medicines, you reduce the acid secretion in the stomach. The stomach acid, together with the enzyme Pepsin which requires a highly acidic environment to function, is essential for digestion. They help in breaking down food into simple compounds which can be easily absorbed by the body. So, reducing the acid secretion is going to cause more problems.
That is why it is becoming more and more popular to use acid reflux probiotics. The inefficient functioning of the LES is probably caused by the overgrowth of harmful bacterium called H. Pylori. Acid reflux probiotics introduce a large number of beneficial bacteria in your system. They prevent the H. Pylori from establishing colonies in your stomach. They also secrete a substance called bacteriocin which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. As the concentration of the H. Pylori is reduced, you will notice definite relief from heartburn.
How can you choose the best probiotics for acid reflux?
Several studies have shown that the lactobacillus group of bacteria is the best probiotic for acid reflux. Lactobacillus acidophilus can provide considerable relief from acid rebound.
You can break the lactobacillus acidophilus capsule, dissolve the contents in water and drink it before meal. This will soothe the esophageal tract. You can also ingest the capsule as a whole. This ensures that the bacteria can survive the harsh conditions of the stomach and establish viable colonies.
When you choose probiotics for acid reflux, make sure that the live cell count is high enough so that viable colonies can be established.
For further relief, you can take a digestive enzyme along with the probiotics. Betaine hydrochloride, which also contains pepsin, is the ideal complement to the lactobacillus acidophilus.