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      The stats tell it all: The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That’s right, more than any other disease – even cancer (a close second) – heart disease is the most likely to kill you. The United States is currently facing a “diabesity” epidemic, or a substantial increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and obesity, all serious risk factors for heart disease.

      According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another person will have lost their life. Sadly, many people do not even know they have heart disease until they experience a heart attack. These facts alone make Heart Health a critical topic to understand.

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    • Skin Health

      The gut-skin connection is very significant. Inflammatory processes present in the gut may manifest on the skin. Toxins are expelled with sweat, and can cause the skin to react. Like the inside of the digestive tract, the skin is covered in microbes which can be neutral, protective or pathogenic. Skin reaction may reflect what is going on inside the body. Therefore treating skin conditions only from the outside will often be ineffective and lead to other chronic issues.

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    • Brain Health

      The gut-brain connection occurs in two directions—from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain. When a person has a “gut feeling,” or an emotional upset causes a stomachache or loss of appetite, they experience examples of the first, most familiar direction. When the gut is out of balance, inflammation results leading to a condition commonly known as leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins to enter into the bloodstream. Some may cross into the brain, setting the stage for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Recognizing the underlying contributing factors that created the gut imbalance in the first place is the first step to achieving optimal brain function .

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    • Diet & Health

      Healthy pH levels, whether in the colon or systemic, are found when you eat a high-fiber diet, high in vegetables and fruits, healthy proteins, and healthy fats. Complement this with foods and supplements high in beneficial bacteria, omega-3 fatty acids, and digestive enzymes, and you will be supporting optimal health (which begins in the digestive system).

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Digestive Dysfunction = Gut Gone Bad!

Filed in Adults, Cancer, Chronic Disease, Constipation, Diarrhea, Digestive Health, Enzymes, Heart Disease, Heartburn, Immune System, Indigestion, Inflammation, Liver, Preventable Issues, Uncategorized | Posted by Brenda Watson on 03/21/2017


digestive dysfunction girl - brenda watson.com

As we move into the third week of Colon Cancer Awareness Month it’s time to discuss what can go wrong in your gut. Last week I presented a very brief overview of how a healthy gut works. This week I’d like to help you recognize signs of digestive dysfunction. The result is multiple disease processes like constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, myriad chronic health conditions and even cancer.

However there is one critical point I must make, and I can’t stress this too strongly. In my 30+ years of working closely with people experiencing all levels of digestive issues, I have seen far too many cases of colon cancer. The unfortunate thing I’ve noticed time and again was this – when a person was diagnosed with colon cancer – they thought they had healthy digestion! Needless to say, they were floored by the diagnosis. When I questioned them further, I might hear “I had a little indigestion here and there” or “sometimes I was constipated”. Often they didn’t notice anything that might have tipped them off to a life-threatening situation brewing inside them.

That’s why it’s so important to truly understand and appreciate what really happens in your own body to do with digestion and absorption. The colon can be very quiet for a long time as disease smolders within. I believe this knowledge has fueled my passion to continue, day after day, to implore people to recognize that their gut is literally the core of their health.

What can go wrong? Intestinal toxemia = poisoning of the intestines!

Intestinal toxemia occurs when the bacteria in the gut act upon undigested food. This interaction can produce toxic chemical and gases. These toxins, in turn, can damage the mucosal lining, resulting in increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut). The net result is that the toxins are then able to spread throughout the body via the bloodstream.

7 common habits that may be poisoning your intestines:

  1. Inadequate amounts of living foods and quality proteins in our dietary choices
  2. Not chewing our foods thoroughly
  3. Drinking with meals
  4. Over-consumption of processed foods (including sugar!)
  5. Overeating in general
  6. Eating foods that we know we are sensitive or allergic to
  7. Inadequate water consumption between meals resulting in low-grade dehydration

Poisoning your intestines is a process that progresses over time. The good news is that you can reverse that process by changing your behaviors.

In the words of Dr. John Matsen, ND, “If you don’t digest your food quickly, some microorganism will digest it for you, making toxins.” These toxins created inside our bodies are called “endotoxins”. I want you to know that they are every bit as damaging to your body as external environmental toxins. We call those “exotoxins”, and are very familiar with the dangers of substances like pesticides, radon or car exhaust.

If the above mentioned habits continue for an extended period of time, the certain result is an overtaxed digestive system. That happens whether you experience mild to severe digestive symptoms, or no symptoms at all. Supporting organs such as your liver and pancreas become overburdened.

Ultimately, your once healthy gut begins its downhill spiral toward altered digestive function. Diagnoses like constipation, diarrhea, IBS or even IBD, along with cardiovascular issues, hormone imbalances, arthritis, fibromyalgia – the list goes on and on. And yes, even cancer.

This is primarily how the sad tale of disease begins – and if you truly understand this, you have the power to change your story and restore your health once more!

Digestive dysfunction. Please don’t let this happen!

Some major dysfunctional results of poor habits:

  • Deficiency of HCL – disrupted protein digestion and decreased stomach pH allowing harmful organisms access to the body
  • Pancreatic insufficiency – reduced enzyme and bicarbonate secretion – inefficient digestion of foods, reduced absorption of nutrients
  • Imbalanced intestinal pH – also reduces proper food breakdown and absorption and compromises immunity

You may think I’m being overdramatic – linking almost all variations of chronic disease processes to the gut. In two words – I’m NOT! Daily more and more supporting evidence is disclosed in clinical trials that prove that your digestion – breaking down and absorbing the nutrients you intake – is absolutely essential to every function in your body.

The premise is so simple it’s unbelievable that many Americans still fail to see the relationship between what goes in their mouths and the way they feel and function. As I mentioned, I think it’s largely due to the forgiving nature of the gut. Symptoms often don’t occur until quite a large amount of damage has been done. And it also has to do with our society’s obsession with simply eliminating symptoms. Many people don’t seem to care to understand what may have been causing that discomfort in the first place. Nexium be gone!

Next post I will give you an action list of exactly what you need to do to understand and heal your gut! Until then, eat lots of living foods!

Travel Advice for your Gut

Filed in Constipation, Diarrhea, Diet, Dietary Fiber, Enzymes, GERD, Heartburn, Indigestion, Probiotics & Gut Flora | Posted by Brenda Watson on 06/24/2016


Travel advice with friends - brendawatson.com

Summer vacation, 4th of July – wonderful opportunities for travel and sampling exciting and different foods. Whether you’re visiting family, or jetting to the Far East, the fun ends abruptly when your digestion becomes distressed! With that in mind, I thought I’d offer some travel advice for your gut that may afford relief for belly troubles during your time away from home – and offer new life to your vacation.

Diarrhea is a common gut reaction when it senses something irritating or a bit too unusual. In many cases, your system simply wants whatever food or drink you’ve chosen out, and quickly! There are also those cases where you may have consumed tainted food or water along your route. Of course, whether camping or simply enjoying a different environment, sanitary conditions can be less than ideal.

When traveling, it’s always a good idea to consume all foods hot and fully cooked to avoid unwelcome food-borne pathogens. And should the hot days entice you to don your bathing suit, avoid swallowing the water that is so refreshing to your body.

Taking your probiotics daily offers you the best insurance against traveller’s diarrhea and peaceful digestion in general. However in case of unpleasant disruption be sure to have a particular probiotic on hand called Saccharomyces boulardii. This probiotic yeast shines in cases of even the toughest diarrhea and doesn’t require refrigeration. You may also want to supplement with goldenseal (constituent berberine) to help additionally curb symptoms and for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Personally, when I travel I tend toward constipation. I’ve read that up to 25% of travelers have reported similar discomfort. For some people, a fiber supplement will be helpful. Truthfully, supplementing on a daily basis with fiber while striving to reach at least 30 – 35 grams daily is a valuable maintenance practice, rather than just using fiber once constipation has set in.

Drink plenty of fluids, especially in this hot summer weather to avoid dehydration and further constipation. I have found consistently that an herbal formula that contains magnesium hydroxide along with aloe, rhubarb, possibly triphala taken with probiotics is a very helpful combination. I never leave home without these.

No travel advice for your gut would be complete without addressing occasional heartburn. The possibilities while traveling to trigger those unpleasant symptoms are abundant. New foods, hearty portions amid friends and family could produce an unhappy gastric result.

Breathe before you begin eating, chew your food thoroughly, and don’t forget your digestive enzymes! Food is to be enjoyed, and paying attention to what’s on your plate rather than eating without a thought can make a huge difference in your digestion. Do your best to focus on taste rather than quantity.

It’s best not to drink liquids with your meals, as that will dilute your stomach’s natural acids whose job it is to effectively break down your food.

When traveling, wear comfortable clothing. Did you realize that tight waistbands can compress the valve that controls acid flow? And whatever you do, avoid laying down to sleep immediately after you eat, as the acidic stomach contents can easily seep into your esophagus when you’re laying in the bed and create irritation.

As a last resort, should symptoms persist, you can immediately relieve heartburn with one or two teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cold water. Please use this method infrequently. Diminishing your stomach acid using any type of antacid today can often lead to even more issues in the future.

Happy, healthy, and comfortable trails to you and yours!

Surprise! You’re Addicted!

Filed in Adults, Diet, Digestive Health, Enzymes, GERD, Heart Disease, Heartburn, Indigestion, PPIs, Probiotics & Gut Flora, Reflux | Posted by Brenda Watson on 01/14/2016


Last Monday it was reported by NPR that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) will soon be publishing yet one more reason to leave those PPIs alone! Protect your kidneys! You can now add kidneys to previous evidence of increased risk of bone fracture, infections and possibly even cardiac issues. This is another warning to all of you who regularly choose Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid to quiet your heartburn, indigestion or GERD.

I have been blogging on the potential issues associated with regularly blocking the normal production of stomach acid for many years. These serious medications, not viewed as potentially dangerous by the medical community until recently, have caused unbelievable heartache and misery for countless Americans. I’ve seen and heard about the damage they produce firsthand as I’ve spoken on digestive health and have been privileged to personally meet with so many of you over the years.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been thought to be so safe that they are now available over the counter. The only difference between a person’s prescription PPI and the ones at the drugstore is the dosage. So we can do math, can’t we? More heartburn? Just take more Nexium, omeprazole, or similar. NO!

Don’t get me wrong. These drugs can be life saving – short term. That’s the key – short term. While a person is healing from an ulcer or surgery it can be absolutely essential to decrease the amount of acid that’s created in the stomach so the tissues can heal properly. After the healing is complete, those drugs need to go – fast!

Even after a short period of time it can be challenging to wean off PPIs. The longer you depend on them, the harder it becomes. We think of addictions and what comes to mind is pain pills or heroin. Sadly, proton pump inhibitors are every bit as physically addicting, just in a different way.

Morgan Grams, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health led the research resulting in the upcoming JAMA Internal Medicine article. The study focused on evaluating the potential for PPIs to increase the chances you’ll develop chronic kidney disease. While the report wasn’t conclusive in itself, the findings were disturbing enough to cause Grams to warn all of us to only use these drugs when they are absolutely necessary.

Here’s the core issue. If you experience heartburn or indigestion of any type, there’s a reason. Your body is trying to tell you that something needs to be changed. Often it’s your diet (sorry, but that’s the truth). Actually, dietary shift can make a huge positive impact on digestive issues over 80% of the time.

It also might be that it’s time to purchase some digestive enzymes. As we age, our enzyme and acid production decreases so we can use a little help in that regard.

Commonly, after years of unhealthy eating habits, our internal bacterial balance is way out of wack. Probiotics can be your lifesaver in this case.

I implore you – before you start popping PPIs to quell that burning feeling, get a tiny bit creative. Try other digestive aids. Even bust way out of your box and consider a different eating plan! It’s not fun to suffer. I know that. However ignoring the real issue that is screaming for your attention by covering up the symptom will come back to bite you – possibly in your kidneys.

I wish only good digestion for you always!

Proton Pump Inhibitors Decrease Gut Microbial Diversity

Filed in Heartburn, Human Microbiome, PPIs | Posted by lsmith on 01/07/2015


Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States, earning billions of dollars for pharmaceutical companies. PPIs markedly decrease the production of stomach acid as a treatment for conditions in the upper digestive tract such as acid reflux, ulcers, and Helicobacter pylori infection. While these medications are sometimes necessary in the short term, long-term use has been associated with a number of adverse effects, including a 74 percent increased risk for Clostridium difficile infection according to a five year follow-up study of 100,000 patients taking a proton-pump inhibitor daily.1

In a recent study published in the journal Microbiome, researchers explored a possible explanation for the link between PPI use and C. diff infection.2 They found that after 28 days of either low- or high-dose PPI treatment in healthy individuals, the diversity of microbes in the gut was decreased in a similar way as is found in individuals who are infected with C. diff for the first time.

C. difficile infection occurs when gut microbial diversity is decreased.3 When diversity is down, the pathogenic C. diff can more easily gain the upper hand. In this study PPI use reduced microbial diversity, which helps to explain how PPI use is associated with C. diff infection.

“Evidence has been mounting for years that long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors poses increased risks for a variety of associated complications, but we have never really understood why,” noted John DiBaise, MD, lead researcher. “What this study does for the first time is demonstrate a plausible explanation for these associated conditions.”

While more studies are needed to work out how the bacterial diversity decreases, two main mechanisms are postulated in this study:

  • Increased bacterial load entering the colon
  • Changes in dietary proteins entering the colon

In a previous study by Kanno, et al, PPI use increased all groups of fecal bacteria they looked at with the exception of decreased Bifidobacterium.4 So when the protective diversity of bacteria are decreased by PPIs, there will be an increased load of bacteria entering the colon that knock out many of the beneficial bacteria. This is seen in C. diff patients and also in patients with small-intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

A change in dietary proteins entering the colon, triggered by reduced stomach acid (and reduced digestion of proteins) can increase C. difficile growth by providing certain amino acids that may increase C. diff growth.

In addition, antibiotic use in vivo has been found to increase sialic acid in the gut, a favored catabolite of C. diff that is strongly associated with C. diff bacterial load.5 Antibiotics are often used in conjunction with PPIs, especially when treating H. pylori.

If this applies for PPIs, what about the senior citizens and people who are genetically predisposed to hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) with age? It is likely they are also at increased risk for C. difficile infection and/or SIBO especially when treated with broad spectrum antibiotics and PPIs.

In addition to increased risk for C. diff, long-term use of PPIs has been linked to iron, calcium, and vitamin B12 deficiencies, low magnesium levels, osteoporosis-related bone fractures, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and community-acquired pneumonia. The risk of C. diff infection with long-term PPI use has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to require a warning on the product insert that states PPIs may increase the risk of C. difficile infection.

If you have acid reflux, talk to your doctor about controlling the condition with non-pharmacological means. There are many lifestyle changes you can make that will help to keep this condition under control without having to use these potentially dangerous medications.

 

References

  1. Linsky A, Gupta K, Lawler EV, et al., “Proton pump inhibitors and risk for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection.” Arch Intern Med. 2010 May 10;170(9):772-8.
  2. Seto CT, Jeraldo P, Orenstein R, et al., “Prolonged use of a proton pump inhibitor reduces microbial diversity: implications for Clostridium difficile susceptibility.” Microbiome. 2014; 2: 42.
  3. Antharam VC, Li EC, Ishmael A, et al., “Intestinal dysbiosis and depletion of butyrogenic bacteria in Clostridium difficile infection and nosocomial diarrhea.” J Clin Microbiol. 2013 Sep;51(9):2884-92.
  4. Kanno T, Matsuki T, Oka M, et al., “Gastric acid reduction leads to an alteration in lower intestinal microflora.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Apr 17;381(4):666-70.
  5. Ng KM, Ferreyra JA, Higginbottom SK, et al., “Microbiota-liberated host sugars facilitate post-antibiotic expansion of enteric pathogens.” Nature. 2013 Oct 3;502(7469):96-9.

Increase in Fiber Intake Post Heart Attack Lengthens Life

Filed in Adults, Conditions, Dietary Fiber, Digestive Health, Digestive Health Care Books by Brenda Watson, Fiber 35 Diet, Heart Disease, Heartburn, Longevity | Posted by Brenda Watson on 06/20/2014


Eat your fiber, you have likely been told by well-meaning friends, health magazines, or possibly even your doctor (and definitely by me). While it may seem like obvious advice given the plethora of health benefits associated with increased fiber intake, only five percent of Americans are actually eating the recommended amount. That’s a terrible shame in my opinion. Fiber is one of the most important nutrients that you are not getting enough of.

In a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, people who ate the highest amount of fiber after surviving a heart attack had a 25 percent greater chance of living longer than those who ate the least amount of fiber. Every 10 gram increase of fiber intake resulted in a 15 percent decreased risk of dying during the follow-up period of about nine years.

The researchers looked at data from two US studies—one with over 121,000 female nurses and the other with over 51,000 male professionals. Of these individuals, almost 4,100 experienced and survived a heart attack. “Future research on lifestyle changes post-[heart attack] should focus on a combination of lifestyle changes and how they may further reduce mortality rates beyond what is achievable by medical management alone,” noted the researchers. Increasing fiber intake should play a big part in heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

This is not the first study on fiber’s longevity benefits that I have blogged on. Three years ago I wrote about the many life-lengthening benefits of fiber. That’s not all. Fiber also helps relieve heartburn, reduces appetite, and when taken in conjunction with exercise, reduces belly fat. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I wrote about many of fiber’s benefits in my book Fiber35 Diet. I recommend that you eat at least 35 grams of fiber daily. If you can’t eat that much from diet alone (it can be difficult), then take a fiber supplement to help you reach your goal.

 

Celiac Disease Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Disease

Filed in Adults, Celiac Disease, Diet, Digestive Health, General, Heart Disease, Heartburn, Inflammation | Posted by Brenda Watson on 05/16/2014


A new study has discovered a link between celiac disease and heart disease, a previously unknown relationship that will likely change the way doctors treat celiac patients. The study found that those people with celiac disease—even people under 65 years—were at increased risk of developing coronary artery disease when compared to controls.

While these findings were surprising to the researchers, they do not surprise me at all. The gut is the foundation for overall health. When digestion is not optimal, inflammation usually results, which moves from the digestive tract into systemic circulation and can affect all areas of the body. I have been talking about this gut connection for many years now. I’m glad to see that scientists are also coming to the same conclusions. (Better late than never, right?)

“People with celiac disease have some persistent low-grade inflammation in the gut that can spill immune mediators into the bloodstream, which can then accelerate the process of atherosclerosis and, in turn, coronary artery disease,” noted R.D. Gujulapalli, MD, co-author of the study. “Our findings reinforce the idea that chronic inflammation, whether it’s from an infection or a disease, can have an adverse role in coronary artery disease and heart health in general.”

This gentleman could not be more correct. He’s talking about the gut connection to chronic disease. And I want you to know that it’s not just celiac disease that works by this mechanism. Gluten sensitivity, a celiac-disease precursor of sorts, produces a similar effect. So does gut bacterial imbalance, which is present in many different digestive conditions and even present in people who think their digestive health is fantastic.

The people in the study were at increased risk for heart disease even when they did not have other markers of poor heart health. “Patients and doctors should be aware of this association,” they stated. Celiac disease affects one in 133 people, but up to 80 percent of them do not know they have it. Four times more people have celiac today than they did just 50 years ago. The researchers recommend that people with celiac disease should maintain a healthy lifestyle and be aware of cardiovascular risk factors that may arise.

 

Still Taking PPIs for Heartburn? New Study May Have You Thinking Twice

Filed in Adults, Brain, Digestive Health, General, Heartburn, PPIs | Posted by Brenda Watson on 05/05/2014


 

Millions of Americans with occasional heartburn turn to medications such as omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium) and lansoprazole (Prevacid) to help reduce stomach acid, but new research may have folks thinking twice about the possible side effects—and considering safer natural alternatives.

Last month ABC.com’s Health Report featured an interview with Douglas Corley, a board-certified gastroenterologist and research scientist with Kaiser Permanente in California. Dr. Corley discussed the results of a recent study he and his colleagues conducted, which showed that people taking a class of acid-suppressing medications known as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) for heartburn and reflux may be at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Kaiser Permanente provides health care coverage to more than 3 million Americans annually, and after reviewing its member records Corley and his team found that those using PPIs were about 65% percent more likely to develop vitamin B12 deficiency, as opposed to a 25% risk increase for those taking another class of heartburn drugs called H2 blockers (e.g. Zantac).

According to Dr. Corley, “Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage, so it can cause numbness or tingling in the hands or the feet. In severe cases it can cause dementia and nerve damage to the brain. And it can also cause anemia.” While he emphasized this was just a single study and more research is needed, Dr. Corley advised people to be cautious about taking certain medications and to consider getting checked for vitamin B12 deficiency if taking PPIs.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Filed in Digestive Health, Enzymes, General, Heartburn, Supplements | Posted by Brenda Watson on 07/13/2009


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Summary:
In this video blog I discuss the use of proton pump inhibitors. A recent study has found why people stay on these drugs for long term use instead of the 6-8 week suggested use. They call it “acid rebound phenomenon”? What is acid rebound phenomenon? What does it to your body? What can you do naturally to help with heartburn? Turn in and find out the answer to these questions and more…

Full Script:
For some time now I have been speaking up about the continued use of the medications prescribed for acid reflux. These medications, called proton pump inhibitors are one of the most commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals on the market. I have many times said that the problem with these meds is that people stay on them long term when if fact they are only meant for a period of six to eight weeks.

Recently results of a study may have revealed the reason why people remain on these drugs long term, something I had suspected for some time now. It seems that these proton pump inhibitors cause what is called an acid rebound phenomenon in the two to three weeks after discontinuing. What this means is when people try to get off the medications they get an increase in gastric acid secretion well above normal which leads to symptoms such as heartburn, acid regurgitation and dyspepsia. This increase in symptoms then results in a resumption of therapy with the medication.

In other words, these meds cause a vicious cycle of acid secretion and heartburn symptoms. This occurred not only in those having symptoms to begin with, but those participants of the study that had no prior history of upper gastric disorders. Interestingly most people who are put on these medications do not need their acid levels turned off, but instead need a good digestive enzyme supplement containing hydrochloric acid ( HCI ). It is much more common to have a low stomach acid level, which mirrors the symptoms of too much acid, such as heartburn and reflux.

If only the Heidelberg Acid test was more readily available around the country, one could truly know if they are producing too much acid in the stomach or in fact have too little. This test involves swallowing a capsule that relays information back to a computer on the amount of acidity within the stomach. Until the time this test is available in your area, try taking a digestive enzyme with HCI (hydrochloric acid) like the Renew Life’s Heartburn Prevention formula. You might be able to avoid the vicious cycle of masking acid reflux symptoms with medication only to experience worse symptoms after discontinuing them.

Thanks again for watching, check back for more of my video blogs

Did You Know That Eating More Fiber Can Help Reduce Suffering from Heartburn and GERD?

Filed in Digestive Health, Enzymes, Heartburn, Supplements | Posted by Brenda Watson on 03/09/2009


A recent study conducted at the VA Medical Center in Houston analyzed more than 900 employees to determine the “onset, frequency and severity” of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) symptoms, including heartburn. The goal of the study was to find out if those symptoms were affected by diet, and whether or not a change in diet may help relieve suffering and prevent the recurrence of the disease. Results indicated that eating high amounts of dietary fat was associated with a greater risk of heartburn (indigestion) and GERD, but that a diet high in fiber was directly related to a reduced risk of heartburn and GERD.

Read more detailed information of the study by visiting: http://gut.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/54/1/11#BIBL

Doctors Tell Heart Patients on Plavix to Seek Alternatives to Prilosec

Filed in Digestive Health, Enzymes, Heartburn, Supplements | Posted by rbingham on 03/04/2009


Almost everyone recovering from a heart attack, heart or stent surgery is prescribed Plavix. Its benefits in reducing blood clots and therefore further heart problems appear to be significant. However, it can irritate patient’s stomachs and so it has become common practice to almost automatically give Plavix patients a proton pump inhibitor such as Prilosec. In a study just published in the prestigious medical journal – JAMA, Dr. Michael Ho scrutinized 8,200 patient records and identified that the addition of Prilosec increased the risk of a return to hospital for heart problems during the next 18 months by 25%.

Leading Doctors including Dr. Steven Nissen of Cleveland Clinic, a candidate for the role of FDA Commissioner are now saying that there should be no automatic prescription of Prilosec with Plavix and that patients should seek alternative medications to solve their stomach problems.

See http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101386673

Take this advice an important step further:

People on Plavix should look outside the aisles of drugstores that are overloaded with heartburn and stomach acid medications. Not only do these drugs now appear to increase heart risk, but they do not get to the root of the problem of heartburn and acid reflux. Instead, nature has provided us with real solutions in the forms of digestive enzymes. These enzymes are now available in health food stores and online, for example, at http://www.renewlife.com/category/enzymes.aspx