Role for Probiotics in GERD?
Source: International Probiotics Association
As gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) soars globally, alternatives to traditional therapies are welcomed. An excellent review — described below — looked at the ability of probiotics to alleviate symptoms in GERD.
GERD, a little background
Gastroesophageal reflux disease commonly known as GERD affects an estimated one billion people worldwide with large variations between regions and countries.
The World Gastroenterology Organization defines GERD as ‘troublesome symptoms sufficient to impair an individual’s quality of life, or injury or complications that result from the retrograde flow of gastric contents into the esophagus, oropharynx, and/or respiratory tract.
Role for probiotics in GERD?
Probiotics are well documented for promoting lower gastrointestinal homeostasis and stimulate the growth of beneficial indigenous gut microbes in dysbiosis. However, activity of probiotics in upper gastrointestinal health is less clear.
Researchers have noted that probiotics may be relevant to changes seen in GERD:
- Specific probiotics accelerate gastric emptying by interacting with stomach mucosal receptors. Transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation is often triggered in GERD.
- Specific Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are linked with alterations in the immune response and antagonistic activity toward potential pathogens through the production of short-chain fatty acids, such as lactic acid.
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