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Magnesium and Acid Reflux: A Hidden Link?

By    |   Monday, 25 July 2016 02:36 PM

Millions of Americans suffer every day from acid reflux or heartburn. Is there a link between magnesium and troubling acid reflux?

Acid reflux occurs when the strong acids needed to help digest food in the stomach are allowed to backflow up into the esophagus. If the sphincter muscle located between the stomach and esophagus responsible for preventing reflux is weak, heartburn can become a chronic problem that leads to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

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Living with infrequent acid reflux is made easier by taking any one of several over-the-counter medications called antacids. These medications do not prevent the acid from entering the esophagus, but they do help to neutralize it, causing less burning sensation. Many of these OTC products contain magnesium combined with aluminum and calcium, says Healthline.

Besides being an effective acid neutralizer, the magnesium found in antacids is a bonus for your overall health. It is one of the most important nutrients for bone health, and it can help lower your risk for both high blood pressure and diabetes.

Dr. Mark Hyman takes the connection between magnesium and acid reflux a step further in a Huffington Post article in which he explains that magnesium deficiencies, so common among Americans, are partly responsible for acid reflux symptoms. He is an advocate for reducing heartburn using lifestyle changes and natural remedies.

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More powerful drugs taken for acid reflux called proton pump inhibitors can be dangerous when taken long-term. These drugs don’t neutralize acid like antacids do; they actually block its formation.

Studies show long-term use of PPIs causes chronic vitamin B12 deficiency, which causes many other health problems, explains Hyman. These drugs can also increase the risk of developing osteoporosis because they prevent the body from absorbing important nutrients for bone health.

Finally, PPI drugs can lead to an overgrowth of a bacteria that can cause a life-threatening infection.

Hyman advises patients with heartburn to supplement with 200-400 milligrams of magnesium each day and incorporate probiotics. He also suggests eating smaller meals, avoiding processed foods, and shunning alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.

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Millions of Americans suffer every day from acid reflux or heartburn. Is there a link between magnesium and troubling acid reflux?
magnesium, acid reflux, link
Monday, 25 July 2016 02:36 PM
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