Sticking to a Mediterranean diet is just as effective at controlling reflux as medicines prescribed to millions of people each year, research suggests.
Patients who ate primarily fish, vegetables and whole grains – and drank alkaline-heavy water – reported a greater reduction in their symptoms than those on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), the small study found.
PPIs are the most widely-prescribed form of medication in the US, accounting for more than $10 billion a year in healthcare costs.
The drugs neutralize acid in the stomach and are widely prescribed by doctors for people with different types of reflux such as laryngopharyngeal reflux (sometimes called silent reflux) and gastroesophageal reflux disease, which produces typical heartburn symptoms.
However, they have been linked to severe side effects and an increased risk of death.