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How to Overcome Heartburn with Probiotics

Taking a probiotic supplement regularly helped one couple overcome heartburn and Barrett's esophagus. Might it help your digestive problem?

The medications doctors prescribe most frequently for digestive problems may lead to serious side effects. As a consequence, many people would prefer to find natural ways to overcome heartburn. One couple reported on a simple solution.

Probiotics to Overcome Heartburn:

Q. After many years, my wife and I suspected that some of our problems were due to her Nexium and my Prilosec. We both opted for probiotics instead.

That was four years ago. We had no trouble quitting, and we have not had heartburn since starting our probiotic regimen. I am no longer diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus. We use a product that has over 60 billion organisms per dose, including ten strains of bacteria plus a prebiotic.

Billions of Bacteria in the Digestive Tract:

A. The importance of the bacteria living in the digestive tract (the microbiome) has become increasingly clear in recent years. Healthy people seem to have a diverse collection of such bacteria, while those with diseases have less diverse microbes. Recent research has shown that people who consumed a specific probiotic yogurt every day changed their bacterial balance and reduced their problems with indigestion (BMJ Open Gastroenterology, online Sep. 16, 2016).

The field of probiotic therapy is still developing. We look forward to a time when doctors will be able to specify which probiotic strains will be most helpful to overcome heartburn or manage another digestive problem. Lactobacillus johnsonii #1088, for example, counteracts disease-producing bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli O-157 and Clostridium difficile (Microbiologyopen, June 2015). It also suppresses acid secretion and could help overcome heartburn.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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