Turmeric, Omeprazole, Natural Alternatives for Heartburn Treatment?

Heartburn is a very common problem among adults. According to the Spanish Federation of Digestive Systems (FEAD), This is one of the most common digestive problems or discomforts because it It affects up to 30% of Spanish people on a regular basis (i.e. once a week). Heartburn is a a burning or stinging sensation that rises to the throat. Normally, the cardia (the part of the stomach closest to the esophagus) remains closed during digestion.However, sometimes This valve relaxes and allows stomach acid to enter the esophagus, causing heartburn.

To avoid and fix this problem, FEAD experts recommend making a series of changes to your habits, such as:

  • andAvoid foods that increase abdominal pressure, such as chocolate, citrus, coffee, or peppermint.
  • Also avoid excess fat, alcohol and carbonated drinks.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid being overweight.

However, many people turn to medications to relieve heartburn symptoms, such as omeprazole. Various studies indicate the abuse of this drug, although Its indications are very specific and should not be a common drug found in home medicine cabinets.. So what other options do we have?

Some foods can help relieve heartburn, such as zucchini, celery, broccoli or cauliflower, which can all be included in the diet. In this list we can also include turmeric. According to a study published in the British Medical Journalhe Using this condiment can help relieve heartburn symptoms with similar effects to omeprazole.

as it explains CuídatePlus, Andrea Calderón, nutrition expert and professor at European University said: “ITurmeric is a spice from India that is an essential ingredient in famous curries. In fact, this is what gives it its yellow-orange color.”. In Spain, not so long ago it was not widely used, but it is becoming increasingly popular in restaurants. Calderon explains that this substance “is extracted from the roots of the turmeric plant and can be used as a spice or food coloring, Recognized by the EU as E-100 additive“.

Regarding the beneficial effects of turmeric, as experts point out, “Curcumin is its main ingredient, and numerous scientific studies have shown that curcumin has very positive effects on health, especially its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities.“. In addition, “It is also considered a protective agent against toxic substances, heavy metals, and free radicals that promote oxidation in the body. ”

Likewise, “it’s been linked to positive effects on mental health, linked to good results on memory, and even shows interesting properties in liver prevention and fatty liver disease.” Now, in addition, This spice appears to have positive effects on relieving and preventing heartburn.

Although turmeric may have beneficial effects, “turmeric is not a superfood, it is simply a healthy compound recommended for inclusion in a balanced diet.” It’s important to be clear about this because “We can’t link a food by itself to a beneficial effect.”

Turmeric and Acidity, What Does the Study Say?

The study published “Analyzing the role of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, in preventing and treating heartburn, therefore, it is believed to be beneficial in improving digestion. “

The turmeric study was a double-blind clinical trial in which 206 hospitalized patients with gastritis or recurrent stomach discomfort They received one month or one of three treatments:

  • Two 250 mg curcumin capsules 4 times daily.
  • 20 mg of omeprazole daily.
  • Turmeric plus omeprazole combination.

all patients Symptoms also improved similarly “with medications, curcumin supplements, or both.”“. Additionally, the authors found that “curcumin does not have any short-term side effects, unlike omeprazole, whose misuse can lead to digestive problems, nutrient absorption, and even conditions such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).” “Despite these good results, Calderon warned,”The current evidence is limited, and although curcumin appears to have no side effects, in principle more research is needed before this conclusion can be reached.“.

The most interesting aspect of the study, according to the European university professor, is that it compared curcumin to widely used antacid drugs. Omeprazole. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, omeprazole is the most consumed medicine in Spain from 2020, with more than 48.5 million units dispensed.

Although this drug is very safe, it is not without side effects, especially in the long term. The main ones have been described: Osteoporotic fractures, intestinal infectionshypomagnesemia or deficiency iron and vitamin B12, interstitial nephritis and/or chronic kidney disease.

What types of problems can turmeric be used to solve?

Regarding the indications for curcumin use, Calderon explains, “By helping to stimulate stomach and pancreatic acid, it can help Gastritis, indigestion, or feelings of nausea and bloating after meals”, although he qualified because “it doesn’t have to be useful in all cases because the most important thing is to first get to the root cause of those symptoms and then fix them. ” Regardless, it is always important to “recommend a professional to avoid side effects.”

How should it be taken?

The study did not indicate a specific amount that should be taken to have a noticeable effect on acidity. His advice is “If it is included in the diet, it can be added in any form or with any meal, It’s best used with black pepper, as piperine significantly enhances its absorption. “

Who can’t accept it and why?

Although, as mentioned above, turmeric does not appear to have short-term negative effects, it is important to take some precautions when using turmeric.In this sense, Calderon It is recommended not to consume without medical supervision “Whenever a person Have a digestive disorder or are taking medications To avoid interactions or opposite effects, such as digestive discomfort due to overconsumption. ” Likewise, nutritionists recommend consulting about its use “in children, pregnant women, or during breastfeeding.”

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