Mediterranean diet and alkaline water linked to reduced reflux symptoms, study finds

Researchers found diet, and alkaline water, may be just as effective as drugs.

ByABC News
September 8, 2017, 8:28 AM

— -- Consuming a plant-based Mediterranean-style diet and drinking alkaline water may be just as effective at controlling reflux symptoms as conventional medication, according to a new study published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery.

Researchers examined the symptoms of two groups of patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a disease where the contents of the stomach and upper digestive tract can reflux all the way up the esophagus, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery. Symptoms of LPR include a sensation of burning, a bitter taste, or the feeling of something stuck in the back of the throat, the group adds.

The study examined two groups of patients as one group took conventional drugs known as proton-pump inhibitors, and the other group adhered to a plant-based Mediterranean diet supplemented with alkaline water. The researchers found that in the 184 patients they studied, there was a minimal difference in the symptoms of the two groups after six weeks.

Although the study examined a relatively small number of patients, the findings suggest that the effect of traditional medication on reducing reflux symptoms were not significantly better than that of the dietary and alkaline water approach, according to ABC News Chief Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton.

Ashton added that some other foods that are thought to lower reflux symptoms include vegetables, fruits, grilled fish and chicken, nuts and whole grains. Ashton advises minimizing your intake of coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, fried and greasy foods, soda, chocolate and dairy products, if you are trying to lower your reflux symptoms.