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Obesity May Speed Aging of the Liver

By Dr. Mercola
Obesity is associated with a significant number of health problems, including insulin resistance,
cancer, and others, and now researchers may have uncovered a reason why. While most of your
tissues and organs age at the same rate, certain factors may cause aging to accelerate.
For this reason, you may be older than your chronological age indicates, or certain organs may
be more aged than others a measure known as epigenetic age. One such factor linked to an
acceleration of epigenetic aging is obesity, particularly in your liver.

Obesity Accelerates Aging in Your Liver


If youre obese, new research found, your liver may be aging faster than the rest of your body,
putting you at risk of chronic disease. For each increase in 10 body mass index (BMI) units, the
epigenetic age of the liver grew by 3.3 years.1
Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics and biostatistics at the University of California,
Los Angeles School of Public Health, explained:2
"Assume there is a man who is 5-foot-8 and weighs 130 pounds. This slender man would have a
body mass index of 20 Compare him to a man of the same age and height who weighs 230
pounds. The liver of this obese man -- who has a BMI of 35 -- would probably be five years older
than that of the slender man."
Obesity surgery had no apparent effect on the age of the liver, even when it resulted in rapid
weight loss. Further, obesity did not appear to impact aging in fat, muscle, or blood only the
liver.
Hovath and colleagues were able to measure the precise epigenetic age of liver samples using an
epigenetic clock that Hovath developed. Its based on DNA methylationa process by which
a methyl group (one carbon atom attached to three hydrogen atoms) is added to part of a DNA
molecule.
DNA methylation is a crucial part of normal cell function, allowing cells to "remember who they
are and where they have been" and is important in regulating gene expression.
DNA methylation also suppresses the genes for things you don't want, such as viral and other
disease-related genes, and abnormal DNA methylation plays a critical role in the development of
nearly all types of cancer.

The Fructose Connection: How It Causes Both Obesity and Liver


Damage
The reason obesity might accelerate aging in your liver could have to do with an underlying
cause of both weight gain and liver damage: fructose. You may already be aware that fructose

the sugar found in everything from high fructose corn syrup and fruit juice to agave syrup and
honey is harmful when consumed in excess.
This is precisely what most Americans do. However, you may be surprised to learn that fructose
is, in many ways, very similar to alcohol in the damage that it can do to your body and your
liver.
Unlike glucose, which can be used by virtually every cell in your body, fructose can only be
metabolized by your liver, because your liver is the only organ that has the transporter for it.3
Since nearly all fructose gets shuttled to your liver, and, if you eat a typical Western-style diet,
you consume high amounts of it, fructose ends up taxing and damaging your liver in the same
way alcohol and other toxins do. In fact, fructose is virtually identical to alcohol with regard to
the metabolic havoc it wreaks.
According to Dr. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the
University of California, fructose is a "chronic, dose-dependent liver toxin." And just like
alcohol, fructose is metabolized directly into fat not cellular energy, like glucose.
His findings were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,4 where Dr.
Lustig explained the three similarities between fructose and its fermentation byproduct, ethanol
(alcohol):
1. Your liver's metabolism of fructose is similar to alcohol, as they both serve as substrates for
converting dietary carbohydrate into fat, which promotes insulin resistance, dyslipidemia
(abnormal fat levels in the bloodstream), and fatty liver
2. Fructose undergoes the Maillard reaction with proteins, leading to the formation of superoxide
free radicals that can result in liver inflammation similar to acetaldehyde, an intermediary
metabolite of ethanol
3. By "stimulating the 'hedonic pathway' of the brain both directly and indirectly," Dr. Lustig noted,
"fructose creates habituation, and possibly dependence; also paralleling ethanol"

Fructose Is a Leading Cause of the Obesity Epidemic


Fructose not only damages your liver; its also a leading cause fueling the obesity epidemic in
both adults and children. In order for you to significantly gain weight, you must first
become leptin resistant. Leptin is a hormone that helps you regulate your appetite. When your
leptin levels rise, it signals your body that youre full, so youll stop eating.
However, as you become increasingly resistant to the effects of leptin, you end up eating more.
Many people who are overweight also have an impairment in their bodys ability to oxidize fat,
which leads to a low-energy state. The question then is: what drives this basic process? Why do
you become leptin resistant in the first place?
Dr. Richard Johnson is the head of nephrology at the University of Colorado and is actively
engaged in clinical research. Over the past 25 years, much of his research (which is funded by
the National Institutes of Health) has focused on fructose and obesity-related diseases.

His hypothesis is that, rather than being driven by eating too many calories and lack of exercise,
obesity is primarily driven by eating too much refined sugar, particularly fructose.
Dr. Johnsons research clearly shows that refined sugar (in particular fructose) is exceptionally
effective at causing leptin resistance in animals, and its very effective at blocking the burning of
fat.
When you give fructose to animals, they lose their ability to control their appetite, they eat
more, and they exercise less. Fructose looks like its playing a direct role in weight gain, he
says.
His research also reveals that fructose has effects independent of this mechanism to induce this
metabolic syndrome. Whereas fructose increases weight through the standard mechanism of
stimulating more food intake and blocking the burning of fat, even when you control caloric
intake, fructose can affect body composition.
This is because when you eat fructose, you actually generate more fat in your liver for the same
amount of energy intake, compared to other types of sugar... For example, if you calorically
restrict an animal but give it a high-fructose diet or a high-sugar diet, it will still produce fatty
liver and will still become insulin resistant. According to Dr. Johnson, fructose has two effects:
1. It stimulates weight gain through its effects on your appetite and by blocking the burning of fat
2. It also changes your body composition to increase body fat even when you are on a caloric
restriction

How Much Fructose Is Safe to Eat?


Four out of five Americans have insulin and leptin resistance. This also includes people who are
overweight, diabetic, hypertensive, or taking a statin drug. If you fall into this category, it would
be prudent for you to restrict your fructose consumption to about 15 to 25 grams of fructose per
day from all sources.
Those who are normal weight and relatively healthy may also benefit from reducing their intake
of fructose, particularly from foods containing high fructose corn syrup or sugar, as the effects of
high sugar and HFCS intake may have effects that build up over time.
Fruits also have fructose but contain many beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. For someone
who is obese, one has to be careful with eating fruits that have substantial fructose content. Some
fruits, such as lemons and limes, have minimal fructose content and are safe. Other fruits, such as
grapefruit, kiwi, and berries, also have relatively low fructose content and high levels of
nutrients. However, fruit juices, dried fruits, and some fruits that are rich in fructose (such as
pears, red apples, and plums) should be eaten relatively sparingly.
According to Dr. Johnson, if you exercise regularly, a small amount of fructose can actually be
quite beneficial, because the fructose will accelerate glucose absorption in your gut and improve
muscle performance. But it really depends on how your body metabolizes the fructose. Your

body normally cannot absorb fructose well. But the more fructose you eat, the more the
transporters that allow for fructose uptake in your gut are turned on. Hence, the more fructose
your body will absorb. Lean children, for instance, tend to only absorb about half of the fructose
they consume, whereas obese children who have fatty liver disease absorb close to 100 percent.
This may further explain the featured finding that obesity is linked to accelerated aging in your
liver.

The 19 Best Foods for Your Liver


If youre overweight or obese, in addition to losing weight you may want to focus on including
more liver-protective foods in your diet. A first step would be to be sure youre drinking enough
water, which will help flush toxins and waste products from your body. A general guide is to
drink enough water so that your urine is pale yellow in color. As for foods, the right combination
of nutrients will help keep your liver functioning optimally. Some of the best foods for your liver
have been compiled by Rodale News and are listed below:5
Fermented foods: Fermented foods like cultured vegetables provide your
body with beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion and provide detoxification
support. The fermented food kimchi, for instance, has been found to help
your body break down pesticides.

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, and


daikon): These help your liver neutralize toxins, including chemicals,
pesticides, medications, and carcinogens.

Dark green leafy vegetables (kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and


dandelion greens): These contain rich amounts of sulfur, which helps your
liver with detoxification. Dandelion greens in particular are known for
supporting liver detoxification and health.

Sea vegetables: Various types of seaweed and brown algae also support
detoxification and may also help prevent your body from absorbing heavy
metals and other environmental toxins. Be sure the sea vegetables come
from a non-polluted water source.

Sprouts: Sprouts contain high levels of enzymes that serve as catalysts for
important body functions. Recent research suggests that broccoli sprouts
may help your body detox environmental pollutants such as

benzene.6 From my perspective, broccoli, watercress, and sunflower


sprouts are foods that virtually everyone can and would benefit from
growing.

Garlic, onions, shallots, and leeks: These foods are rich in sulfur, including
the sulfur-based compound allicin, which is critical for liver detoxification.

Organic, pastured eggs: Eggs are a high-quality source of protein that


includes all eight essential amino acids. Your liver needs these to help
detoxify your body. Choline, found in egg yolks, also helps protect your
liver from toxins.

Artichokes: These contain cynarin and silymarin, which support liver


health.

Mushrooms: Maitake, shiitake, and reishi mushrooms are known for their
potent immunosupportive agents and also contain L-ergothioneine, a
powerful antioxidant to help neutralize free radicals.

Berries: Berries are rich in phytochemicals, including anthocyanin, which


might inhibit the proliferation of liver cancer cells.

Coconut oil: This healthy saturated fat is so easy for your body to digest
that no pancreatic fat-digesting enzymes are needed. This puts less stress
on your liver and helps it function optimally.

Avocados: These contain healthy monounsaturated fat, oleic acid, and


glutathione, which is important for liver health.

Organic, unrefined, cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil: High-quality olive oil


contains anti-inflammatory compounds that help your liver decrease
oxidative stress in your body (consume this oil unheated).

Flax seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds: These contain plant-based
omega-3 fats to fight inflammation along with healthy fiber.

Herbs: Many herbs support liver detoxification and function. This includes
ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, fennel,
and turmeric (curcumin).

Organic, grass-fed meat: By avoiding meat raised on confined animal


feeding operations (CAFOs) and instead choosing grass-fed meat
exclusively, youll help avoid pesticides, chemicals, hormones, and
antibiotics that further tax your liver.

Wild-caught sardines, anchovies, and salmon: These provide antiinflammatory omega-3 fats. You can also find these in krill oil.

Whey protein powder: Whey protein provides the amino acids necessary
for glutathione production, which is essential for liver protection and
function. Choose organic whey protein from grass-fed cows.

Spirulina: This blue-green algae is a potent detoxifier. Animal studies


suggest spirulina can also protect your liver, probably as a result of its high
antioxidant properties and its ability to synthesize or release nitric oxide.

Is Coffee Beneficial for Your Liver?


Coffee has earned a negative reputation due to its caffeine content, but accumulating research
suggests it may have beneficial effects, especially on your liver. One recent study revealed that
people who drink three cups of coffee a day were 25 percent less likely to have abnormal liver
enzyme levels than those who drank none,7 and this was true whether the coffee was caffeinated
or not.8 Other research found that drinking two or more cups of coffee a day may reduce your
risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66 percent.9
And a Japanese study found those who drank coffee daily, or close to it, had about half the risk
of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of liver cancer, than people who never drank
coffee;10 coffee is also associated with less severe liver fibrosis, lower levels of fat in your liver,
and lower rates of hepatitis C disease progression.11 If you're interested in the health benefits,
drink your coffee black, without sugar, non-dairy creamer or cream, or flavorings. If

you really can't stand your coffee black, you could try adding non-dairy alternatives like
unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Also, make sure its organic to avoid more pesticide
exposures to your liver.

Are You Struggling with Obesity?


If you're currently struggling with weight control, I urge you to read my top tips for conquering
obesity now. However, a simple change for most people to make would be replacing sugary
beverages with pure water and, on occasion, a healthy, anti-obesity option like hibiscus extract
tea, which also offers liver-protecting potential. In addition, intermittent fasting is a powerful
tool to help you resolve your insulin and leptin resistance. Its also one of the fastest ways to
shed excess pounds, as it helps shift your body from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary
fuel. To me, the most remarkable aspect of intermittent fasting is that once you make the
transition, your hunger and cravings for sweets virtually disappears.
Granted, in order to get it right, you need to severely restrict your sugar and fructose intake. A
healthy diet becomes all the more important when you start intermittently fasting. Ideally, youll
want to swap your non-vegetable carbs for healthy fats. Most benefit from anywhere from 50 to
70 percent of their daily calories in the form of healthy fat, such as avocado, olives, eggs, butter,
nuts (I prefer macadamia and pecans), and coconut oil for example. This is done until the insulin
resistance resolves and one has normal weight, no diabetes or hypertension, and is no longer
taking statin drugs. Then one can decrease the fat and replace them with healthy carbs. For a
more in-depth review, please see this previous article on how intermittent fasting can help you
live longer.

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Home Remedies to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating


Posted by: Roxy Lara in Featured, Home Remedies March 10, 2014

Gas and bloating is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach.The inflammatory lesion may be either
acute or chronic.Most of the people are suffering from this problem.When your tummy is stretched you
feel uncomfortable.There are so many ways to banish bloating.

Symptoms:

Loss of appetite

Nausea,vomit,headache and dizziness

Pain and discomfort in the region of stomach

Coated tongue,foul breath increased flow of saliva

Scanty urination

Bad taste in mouth

In more chronic cases,the patient complaints of heart burn and feeling of fullness in the abdomen.

Causes:

Habitual over eating

Eating of badly combined or improperly cooked food

Excessive intake of strong tea,coffee,alcohol drinks

Large quantities of condiments and sauces.

Some other causes are worry,anxiety,grief,tension.

Using of certain drugs and caustic substances.

10 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Gas and Bloating:


1. Coconut:
Coconut water is an excellent remedy for gas and bloating tummy.It gives necessary rest to the stomach
and provides vitamins and minerals.

2. Potato:
Potato juice is beneficial in this treatment,half cup of the juice 2 or 3 times daily half an hour before
meals will give great result.

3. Start with fiber:


Start morning with fiber contained food such as cereal packed with fiber to get things moving.

4. Ginger:
To prevent gas and bloating due to gas forming, chew ginger piece after meal otherwise add fresh ginger
to your food to control the gas forming in stomach.

5. Apple cider vinegar:


Add two spoons of apple cider vinegar in warm water and allow it to become room temperature before
drinking it.You will get instant relief from gas trouble.If you have no availability of apple cider vinegar try
normal vinegar.

6. Turmeric leaves:

Drink chopped turmeric leaves with 1 cup of milk daily for a better and noticeable result.

7. Baking soda & lemon juice:


Put the juice of fresh lemon in a glass and add baking soda to it.Finally add cup of water and stir
properly.Drink these slowly and soon you will get relief.For instant relief add baking soda in 1 cup of
water drink it in the morning on empty stomach.

8. Marigold:
The herb marigold is also considered beneficial in the treatment of gas and bloating tummy.An infusion of
the herb in doses of a tablespoon taken twice daily.

9. Apply pressure on abdomen:


To remove gas,massage your abdomen in the direction of where gastrointestinal tract.Press the fingers
near to right hip across and down near colon.

10. Garlic:
It provides great relief from gas form,heating quality and pungent odour of garlic will gives more relief
from gas trouble and bloating tummy.you can take grinded garlic and boil them in water and add small
amount of pepper and cumin seeds.Strain it allow to become room temperature.Drink this daily 2 to 3
times for a better result.

Important tips to follow for people who are


suffering with gas and bloating:

The habits that causes you to swallow excess of air such as chewing a gum,drinking juices through
straw,talking while eating etc

Avoid alcohol,chewing tobacco,smoking,spicy food,strong coffee/tea.

Do not take too many different foods in a single meal.

Balance diet

Patient should avoid mental tensions and hard physical activities.

Breathing exercises are very beneficial at that time.

Eat your food slowly,without forbid air enter your system.

Do exercise regularly.

Dont consume dairy and poultry products (such as milk,eggs etc.)

Chew your food properly it helps you in digest properly.Eating food quickly leads to cause bloating in
stomach.

Undigested food can pass in to large intestine and killed by bacteria,which releases gas in that
process.

Avoid straws if you use straws may swallow more air.

Never sleep after eating your meal.

Avoid carbonated stuff,chewing gum,sugar,etc..these things causes bloating problems.

Consuming potassium rich foods to regulate fluid balance in the body.

What you dont know can kill you. Silent reflux is acid reflux that does not produce
heartburn or indigestion. You dont know you have it, and yet it can still cause cancer.

FROM THIS EPISODE:

The Silent Killer: America's Fastest Growing Cancer

Often overlooked and misdiagnosed, silent reflux affects over 50 million Americans. The
backflow of stomach acid and digestive enzymes (pepsin) can wreak havoc on your
esophagus(the food passage that goes from your throat to your stomach), as well as your
ears, nose, throat, vocal cords, sinuses, mouth, and lungs. Pepsin, in the presence of
acid, digests protein and damages tissue. Outside the protected stomach, pepsin, bathed

in acid, digests you! And when pepsin attacks your sensitive airway and esophageal
tissues, you can suffer all kinds of problems.
The most common silent reflux symptoms are hoarseness, chronic cough, throatclearing, post-nasal drip, sinusitis, sore or burning throat, difficulty swallowing,
shortness of breath, snoring, sleep apnea, bad breath, tooth decay, asthma, and COPD.
Unfortunately, your doctor is probably unaware that these symptoms may be caused by
silent reflux and that it could be controlled with the proper diagnosis and treatment.
Did you know that asthma is one of the most common misdiagnoses, because silent
reflux mimics asthma? Heres a big tipoff: When you have trouble breathing, do you
have more difficulty getting air IN or OUT? People with reflux have trouble getting air
IN during inspiration (not out during expiration). People with asthma have difficulty
getting air OUT of the lungs. In truth, many people with asthma may not actually have
it, and, consequently, asthma medication doesnt really help much if at all. The fact is
that once the correct diagnosis is made, effective anti-reflux treatment can permanently
cure this asthma-like breathing problem.
How Do I Know If I Have Silent Reflux?
One of the characteristics of silent reflux is that most people who have it have several
different symptoms all at the same time, but often heartburn isnt one of them.
To find out if you may have silent reflux, take this simple quiz. Just circle the number for
each symptom and add up the numbers.
The quiz is actually known as the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI), and it is a great first
test to see if you have reflux. If your RSI is 15 or more (and you have a zero or one for
heartburn), you may have silent reflux; you should see a specialist trained in detecting
reflux by examination of both the throat and esophagus. Doctors who only scope the
esophagus are missing the boat. Get your printable version of the Reflux Symptom
Index.
Why Is Reflux Sometimes Silent?
What makes silent reflux different than heartburn is that the silent reflux sufferer may
be unaware of having it, and his or her doctor may not suspect the diagnosis. A lot of
reflux is needed to damage the esophagus, but very little reflux can severely damage the
more sensitive throat, sinuses and lungs. Many people with silent reflux have never even
once experienced classic heartburn.

How the term silent reflux came to be is instructive. In 1987, Walter Bo, a medical
school colleague, was my patient. As a result of nighttime reflux, he had terrible
morning hoarseness. This was because he had a habit of eating dinner very late and then
falling asleep on the sofa. Hence, he would reflux into his throat all night.
I tried explaining the problem, but Walter repeatedly denied having reflux. As it turned
out, Walter affirmed that he thought that heartburn and reflux were the same. When I
was able to explain that one could have reflux without heartburn as in this example,
when it occurred during sleep Walter rolled his eyes and said, I see. I have the silent
kind of reflux. I declared, Yes, Walter, thats it! You have silent reflux!
Why Doesnt My Doctor Know About This?
Unfortunately, people with silent reflux symptoms, even if they ask their doctor, are
usually incorrectly told they do not have reflux. The medical specialties are broken down
by parts of the body, and doctors are experts in, and only test for, those parts of the body
in which they specialize. The problem is that reflux does not care where your doctor
trained and how it might affect the different medical specialties the esophagus treated
by gastroenterologists, the throat and sinuses treated by ear, nose and throat specialists
(otolaryngologists), and the trachea and lungs treated by lung specialists
(pulmonologists).
The Solution: Integrated Aerodigestive Medicine
Only a trained reflux specialist who knows what to look for in all affected areas and who
has the right diagnostic tests is equipped to make an accurate diagnosis. Otherwise, a
doctor may guess wrong and treat you for an illness that you dont have. Some of the
symptoms of silent reflux can sometimes be caused by other diseases, which doctors try
to treat unsuccessfully, leaving you miserable, frustrated, and having wasted money on
useless tests and drugs.
Instead of focusing on the patients diet and lifestyle the root cause of almost all reflux
disease doctors often employ pills, usually the wrong pills, that rarely correct the
problem. In truth, reflux medications are grossly misused and over-used today.
A new medical field is emerging, one devoted to the comprehensive diagnosis and
treatment of reflux symptoms and all reflux-related breathing and digestive tract
diseases. The name for this new field is Integrated Aerodigestive Medicine (IAM). This
approach represents the leading edge of change in American healthcare. For the first
time in the nation, Integrated Aerodigestive Medicine is available in New York City at
The Koufman Reflux Center of New York. This groundbreaking approach is based upon
my 30 years of scientific research and clinical experience.
You dont have to be on medication for life; you can change your life, and you can be
cured.
Silent Reflux Is an Epidemic

I am often asked if reflux is more common today or if we are just more aware of it? The
answer is both. But make no mistake about it, reflux is now an epidemic. Esophageal
and silent (airway) reflux have skyrocketed since the 1970s. The actual prevalence of
reflux in America has increased from 10% in 1976 to a staggering 40% today.
What You Eat Could Be Eating You
The reflux epidemic appears to be related to too much acid in the food supply! How did
this happen? Following an outbreak of food poisoning in 1973, the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) set Good Manufacturing Guidelines for all food and beverages in
bottles and cans. And what did they mandate? Acid, acid, acid. By law, everything in a
bottle or a can must be acidic. This kills bacteria and prolongs the shelf life of products,
but it also causes reflux disease.
Pepsin, the main digestive enzyme that digests protein, needs acid to work. Every time
you reflux, pepsin is washed onto your sensitive tissues. Once a pepsin molecule is
bound to, say, your throat or esophagus, any dietary source of acid can reactivate it:
soda, salsa, strawberries. Thats why I say what you eat may be eating you.
Reflux medication is not the answer for most people. People who have reflux should see
their doctors, because medication can just cover up the underlying problem. Just the
same, if you have reflux, there is a lot that you can do by changing what you eat and
when you eat it.
Reflux Can Be Cured Through Healthy Eating
Healthy eating. Whats that when it comes to reflux? First, no late-night eating. If you go
to bed with a full stomach, you are likely to reflux all night. Besides, reflux is the most
common cause of disturbed sleep and it is even associated with snoring and sleep apnea.
Second, restrict all highly acidic foods and beverages. If you have reflux, the only thing
you should drink out of a bottle is water, and alkaline water is best. Alkaline water kills
off pepsin; look for alkaline waters with a pH above 8.0. After over-eating, soft drinks
(all of them) are the next greatest cause of reflux. Finally, your diet should be low-fat as
well as low-acid. It works! Do a strict, two-week induction ("detox") low-acid diet, and
then follow it up with a moderate low-acid, low-fat, pH-balanced diet for 3-6 months.
Table 1 shows the recommended reflux diet in a nutshell, and Table 2 shows the bestfor-reflux food list.
Table 1: Basic Elements of Dr. Koufman's Reflux Diet

Nothing out of a bottle or a can except water (alkaline is best)

Alcohol in moderation (one drink), and no late-night eating

Eat lots of fish, poultry, vegetables, breads, and grains

Use and order all dressings, cheeses, and sauces on the side

Minimize fatty meats; some beef and pork, and portion control!

Avoid excessive consumption of acidic foods like citrus fruit

Avoid reflux-causing foods like mints, chocolate, and fried food

Table 2: Dr. Koufman's Short Best-For-Reflux Food List

Grilled/baked/broiled/boiled fish, shellfish, and poultry

All veggies (except onions, tomatoes, garlic, and peppers)

Breads, rice, grains (low-sugar cereals), oatmeal, and tofu

Alkaline water, low-fat cow, soy, almond, and coconut milk

Melons, bananas, ginger, chamomile tea, Manuka honey

Finally, if you are going to be on a low-acid diet, you must know if there is acid added to
something. You have to read the ingredients on labels. What should you look for?
Phosphoric acid, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and vitamin C added or enhanced all mean
that whats in the bottle may be as acidic as stomach acid. And if you have significant
reflux symptoms, avoid it! Learn more about silent reflux prevention.
Try these recipes from Dr. Koufmans cookbook, Dropping Acid, The Reflux Diet
Cookbook & Cure:

Vegetable Frittata With Quinoa Spread

Healthy One-pot Chicken Blanquette

Banana Ginger Energy Smoothie

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

13 surprising home remedies for acid reflux


Before you reach for the heavy-duty, prescription-strength drugs, give these
suggestions a try.
By: Jennifer Nelson
Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM

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Photos: ULKASTUDIO, Constantine Pankin, Mari Swanepoel/Shutterstock


Acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which is a more scientific way to describe heartburn, affects
50 percent of Americans. While heartburn suggests you just ate a pizza that bothered you, GERD is when food, acid
contents, bilious material or pancreatic juices travel back up into your esophagus, causing trouble more than twice a
week, says Patricia Raymond, a gastroenterologist in Chesapeake, Va.

The acid solution that splashes up into the esophagus causes inflammation, irritation and scarring, which can narrow
the circumference of the esophagus. Symptoms include hoarseness, food getting stuck, burning, irritation, nausea,
coughing, wheezing, asthma symptoms and eroded tooth enamel. It also increases your odds of esophageal cancer.

Getting to the root of the problem is the most important step. People who are overweight or older tend to be affected
more since abdominal fat interferes with esophagus function, and the esophageal sphincter, which prevents
backsplash, weakens with age. And many of the best things in life can relax the sphincter, including chocolate,
alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and greasy, spicy and fatty foods.
But its not a hopeless situation. Here are some of the best natural home remedies to try for the occasional bout of
acid reflux:

1. Lose weight. Studies show losing 10 percent of your body fat can improve acid reflux symptoms.
2. Embark on an anti-reflux diet (eliminating all those yummy vices above). Dont get too excited; it only makes a
difference for about 30 percent of people, says Raymond. Plus, the problem with the diet is that we find most people
would rather die than be on that diet for the rest of their life.

3. Try eating raw almonds, an alkaline-producing food that can balance your pH because they are a good source of
calcium, says Dr. Millie Lytle, a naturopathic doctor in New York.

4. Drink two ounces of unprocessed aloe vera juice daily.


5. Start your day with a cup of warm water and fresh lemon juice. By drinking this on an empty stomach 15 to 20
minutes before eating anything else, the body can naturally balance out its acid levels. It's a great digestive aid and is
safe for all users, says Rebekah Fedrowitz, an applied holistic nutritionist.
6. Try a tablespoon of baking soda in a half cup water not tasty but effective.
7. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons daily of apple cider vinegar. Its great mixed with honey in tea or instead of lemon in tea.
Many people mistakenly believe all acid reflux and indigestion is caused by an overproduction of acid. The latest
research shows it's actually the opposite for many people: There is too little acid produced to adequately digest the
food eaten, says Christina K. Major, holistic nutritionist and naturopathic doctor in Trevorton, Pa. Pickles, sauerkraut
and other highly acidic foods also work well to help stimulate acid.

8. Eat a Red Delicious apple after problematic meals.


9. Supplement with Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic strain specifically for the small intestine, to help optimize
absorption of key vitamins for optimal digestive health, says Stella Metsovas, author of The 21 Day Digestive Health
Detox.

10. Take the herbal supplement slippery elm in capsule, powder or lozenge form, as it soothes the irritated tissues of
the digestive tract.

11. Chamomile, mint or fenugreek tea may help reduce acid reflux symptoms.

12. Chew a stick of gum after meals to increase saliva production, which research shows can reduce acid levels in
the esophagus.

13. Sleep on your left side. Studies found sleeping on your stomach or right side can cause additional pressure that
increases GERD symptoms. Left-side sleepers report relief.

Here are six more tips from Dr. Jamie Koufman, professor of clinical otolaryngology at New York Eye and Ear
Infirmary of the New York Medical College and author of Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook and Cure: Quit
smoking, don't wear clothing that is too tight, don't exercise directly after a meal, don't lie down right after eating or
eat within three hours of bedtime, and elevate the head of your bed if you're a nighttime refluxer.

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Read more: http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/13-surprising-home-remedies-for-acidreflux#ixzz3GwyKrCLT

The quiz is actually known as the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI), and it is a great first
test to see if you have reflux. If your RSI is 15 or more (and you have a zero or one for
heartburn), you may have silent reflux; you should see a specialist trained in detecting
reflux by examination of both the throat and esophagus. Doctors who only scope the
esophagus are missing the boat. Get your printable version of the Reflux Symptom
Index.
Why Is Reflux Sometimes Silent?
What makes silent reflux different than heartburn is that the silent reflux sufferer may
be unaware of having it, and his or her doctor may not suspect the diagnosis. A lot of
reflux is needed to damage the esophagus, but very little reflux can severely damage the
more sensitive throat, sinuses and lungs. Many people with silent reflux have never even
once experienced classic heartburn.

How the term silent reflux came to be is instructive. In 1987, Walter Bo, a medical
school colleague, was my patient. As a result of nighttime reflux, he had terrible
morning hoarseness. This was because he had a habit of eating dinner very late and then
falling asleep on the sofa. Hence, he would reflux into his throat all night.
I tried explaining the problem, but Walter repeatedly denied having reflux. As it turned
out, Walter affirmed that he thought that heartburn and reflux were the same. When I
was able to explain that one could have reflux without heartburn as in this example,
when it occurred during sleep Walter rolled his eyes and said, I see. I have the silent
kind of reflux. I declared, Yes, Walter, thats it! You have silent reflux!
Why Doesnt My Doctor Know About This?
Unfortunately, people with silent reflux symptoms, even if they ask their doctor, are
usually incorrectly told they do not have reflux. The medical specialties are broken down
by parts of the body, and doctors are experts in, and only test for, those parts of the body
in which they specialize. The problem is that reflux does not care where your doctor
trained and how it might affect the different medical specialties the esophagus treated
by gastroenterologists, the throat and sinuses treated by ear, nose and throat specialists
(otolaryngologists), and the trachea and lungs treated by lung specialists
(pulmonologists).