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Natural Solutions to Heartburn and Dyspepsia
by Stephen Holt, M.D.

Millions of Americans suffer from conditions of simple digestive upset . Symptoms of gut distress occur most commonly as a result of an imbalance in digestive function. While persistent gastrointestinal symptoms require medical evaluation, studies have shown that there are natural supplements available to manage many digestionrelated problems without use of prescription medications.

Obviously, in cases where there is persistent digestive upset, especially those associated with "red flag" symptoms (i.e., difficulty swallowing, vomiting blood, etc.), self-management is ill-advised. However, several natural options exist for common types of digestive upset, such as irritable bowel syndrome and non-ulcer or functional dyspepsia, which don't involve "bad" tissue changes like those found with inflammation or cancer.

Each year, billions of dollars are spent on prescription drugs developed to soothe the esophagus, stomach, and intestines without first considering that there might be a simple, gentle natural solution. Much discomfort in the upper digestive tract occurs as a result of gastric acid attack on the digestive lining, infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), and oxidative stress. There is a myth that currently dominates popular thought that eutralizing or reducing stomach acid is a successful way to approach heartburn. This has led to the rampant (even longterm) practice of using potent acidlowering prescription drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors and Prilosec®, which actually suppress the gastric cells from producing the acid necessary for proper digestion. This is unfortunate since simple lifestyle and nutritional changes and the correct use of dietary supplements have been effective as a first-line approach to dealing with many types of uncomplicated digestive upset.

Studies show the antioxidant, ellagic acid, found in pomegranates and raspberries, reduces acid. This is a very clever trick by Mother Nature, where specific natural substances provide nutritional support for the normal body function of acid secretion and offer other benefits, like antioxidant protection. In fact, ellagic acid forms the basis of a patented product called Heartburn Naturally™, from Healthcare Naturally. The actions of ellagic acid and other natural substances work together like a weak proton pump inhibitor to neutralize acid.

Heartburn Naturally™ (Zanasec®) contains a combination of fava bean flour and calcium, plus magnesium in an ideal ratio of 2:1 with small amounts of bi-carbonate to regulate acid. Soothing natural agents, including lecithin, mastic gum, pectin, and stomach mucin are added to promote upper digestive health. Ingredients, like green tea, turmeric, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E, supply a classic antioxidant edge. The benefits are further enhanced by its delivery in the form of a chewable tablet for quick relief.

Restoring the harmony of digestive function can be further supported by taking probiotics (friendly bacteria), prebiotics, enzymes, and other substances that can help repair and detoxify the digestive lining. Digestion Naturally™, also from Healthcare Naturally, was formulated to provide an ideal nutritional matrix to help restore normal digestive function, especially when used in combination with positive lifestyle change.

While irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia are classified as diseases, there is significant clinical evidence that nutritional and lifestyle approaches can reduce, even alleviate, many instances of these digestive problems without placing many at risk of prescription drug side effects.

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