Study shows that a Mediterranean-style diet may eliminate need for reflux medications


Summary: A plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to provide the same medical benefits for treating laryngopharyngeal reflux as popular reflux medications, according to new research.

Journal Reference:
1. Craig H. Zalvan, Shirley Hu, Barbara Greenberg, Jan Geliebter. A Comparison of Alkaline Water and Mediterranean Diet vs Proton Pump Inhibition for Treatment of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux. JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, 2017; DOI: 10.1001/jamaoto.2017.1454

Lead author of the study, Craig H Zalvan MD, felt that there had to be a better approach to healing and treating reflux conditions. Formerly one of the biggest suppliers of proton pump inhibitors (PPI's) in the region he started his research. The study suggests that dietary changes were equally as good at reducing reflux symptoms as PPI's, which may avoid the need for some people to take them.

His research showed that a Mediterranean-style diet can provide the same medical benefits as traditional reflux medication. Patients who consumed a 90-95% whole food, plant based Mediterranean-style diet paired with alkaline water had the same if not better reduction in reflux symptoms as compared to patients who used PPI's. Dr Zalvan also noticed that in recent studies increased rates of stroke and heart problems, dementia and kidney damage could occur from prolonged PPI use.

Dr Zalvan's suggested diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. With near complete cessation of dairy and meats (beef, chicken, fish, eggs and pork). The diet was used in addition to the standard reflux diet precautions of coffee, tea, chocolate, soda, greasy and fried foods, spicy foods, fatty foods and alcohol. Many patients also experienced some weight loss and a reduction in symptoms and medication from other medical conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Dr Zalvan suggested that this plant based diet should be attempted before the use of medication or with short-term use of medication in severe cases.

What are the benefits of a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet?

A diet high in animal based and highly processed foods makes people sick and overweight. Many of these sicknesses can be prevented and often reversed by eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. This diet has been shown to:

  • Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
  • Reverse or prevent heart disease
  • Prevent and reverse obesity
  • Lower risk of cancer and diabetes
  • Slow the progression of certain types of cancer
  • Improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Improve overall quality of life

How can we help you?

Our expert team of nutritionists can help find the appropriate diet for you and support you through your journey to better health and vitality. Just call or email the clinic for further information.

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