A new recent study has shown a link between those who follow a Mediterranean diet and reduced reflux.
The New Study
A group of researchers at the “Feinstein Institute for Medical Research” at “New York Medical College,” found a link between the Mediterranean diet and reduced heartburn symptoms. The study found that following the diet could provide the same benefits as popular heartburn medications with regards to reducing their symptoms.
A Mediterranean diet is typically characterized by having a particularly high consumption of vegetables & olive oil and a moderate consumption of proteins. The diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, and a large reduction of animal-based products such as dairy, eggs, chicken, fish, beef and pork.
The study analyzed patients who regularly experience heartburn symptoms, comparing those who took “proton pump inhibitors” (PPIs), a popular heartburn medication, and those who followed Mediterranean-type diets with alkaline water. They found that 62.6% of Mediterranean diet-abiding patients showed a reduction of reflux symptoms, in comparison to 54.1% in their PPI counterparts.
This study, however, only focused on laryngopharyngeal reflux, and not gastro esophageal reflux (known as GERD). The study also ensured participants avoided the typical acid-reflux inducing foods, such as alcohol, chocolate, coffee, tea, soda, high-fat foods and fried foods.
Comments On the Study
The lead researchr, Craig Zalvan, commented on the findings, saying: “Although effective in some patients, I felt medication couldn't be the only method to treat reflux and recent studies reporting increased rates of stroke and heart attack, dementia and kidney damage from prolonged PPI use made me more certain.”
"I did research and saw a lot of studies using plant-based diets to treat patients for many other chronic diseases, so I decided to develop a diet regimen to treat my laryngopharyngeal reflux patients. The results we found show we are heading in the right direction to treating reflux without medication."