Q. Dear Terry, “My husband gets really bad heartburn at night. We’ve started eating dinner earlier and he does a good job of avoiding foods that usually cause heartburn. But, he still has symptoms and he’s a little frustrated. Is there anything else he can try?” – Chloe F., Pittsburgh, PA
A. Dear Chloe, Two of my favorite ingredients for acid reflux (a primary cause of heartburn) are d-limonene and sea buckthorn oil. These natural medicines can greatly improve digestive function. Sea buckthorn has been clinically studied for healing ulcers and other gastric lining inflammation that can also cause heartburn or reflux. D-limonene has been studied for its beneficial effects on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Both are also very soothing to the mucosa of the digestive tract. Make sure the sea buckthorn he chooses features both the seed and pulp oil to receive the full benefits of this plant. I recommend taking 600 mg of these two ingredients twice daily. Tell your husband to be patient, as it may take a month or two to see improvements since results improve with continued use.
He may also want to consider adding in deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). DGL is a powerful antioxidant, works as an antimicrobial agent, and helps reduce inflammation. The DGL I recommend is standardized to at least 3.5% glabridin and greater than 10% flavonoids. I recommend 75 mg of this DGL twice per day.
Lastly, I think human strain probiotics would be very beneficial. I prefer probiotics that have a long history of human use, like Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. Having a “big number” of probiotics is less important than making sure you get the right probiotics. I would take 20 billion colony forming units (CFUs) featuring a combination of L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, and B. bifidum once per day with food.
Terry . . . Naturally