Health Science Institute Panelist Allan Spreen, M.D., shares an eye-opening quote from a Boston Globe Magazine article overviewing the marketing of the prescription heartburn drug Prilosec.  Here’s the quote:

“That drug stripped misery from the lives of millions and became the world’s best-selling prescription drug – and the number one medication prescribed for seniors – taking in $6 billion a year.  Prilosec is so good, and patients so attached to it, that doctors jokingly call it ‘purple crack.’ It’s an expensive habit, about $4 for each daily pill, or $1,500 a year.”   End quote.  (But there is a much better, less expensive  and safer solution.)

The solution is ridiculously simple (and cheap).  Using readily available acidophilus (Shaklee’s Optiflora) and digestive enzymes (Shaklee’s EZ-Gest & Peppermint Ginger Stomach Soothing Complex), Dr. Spreen said, “I have stopped over 2/3 of all cases.  The more difficult cases (that may include overt ulcers, etc.) may involve a more aggressive approach; but omitting really serious GI illness, the results are nearly always extremely positive.”

‘Reflux’ (or any of the other scary sounding names) is nothing more than acid slipping past the junction of the stomach and the esophagus.  (Most people are confused and think they have too much acid.  Not true, as people age the acid levels drop and food sits in the stomach and doesn’t break down well.  Also the esophagus which is a muscle looses strength as we age and allows the passing of the acid.)  The stomach is designed for it; the esophagus is not…hence a trap door (sphincter) at the intersection (called the GE, or GastroEsophageal junction) set in place to keep the two areas separated.

ACID ESSENTIALS:  people act like (from propaganda on TV) stomach acid is some kind of mistake on Mother Nature’s part.  Dr. Spreen states, “How many times in my practice have I had to repeat that ACID IS SUPPOSED TO BE DOWN THERE…WE NEED IT!!!”

Here’s the kicker:  If you ‘kill if off’ (using antacids, acid blockers, etc.) the body, in its wisdom, saves the energy required to protect the esophagus from the stomach’s (normally) acid environment and weakens the GE sphincter.  This allows any remaining acid to sometimes slip past and irritate the esophagus.  So, you take an antacid (or whatever – we have so many choices these days) and you feel better, because you lessen even more what little acid remains that has been irritating your already sensitive esophagus.

The above association reinforces that you need more antacid next time, since it helps in the short term.  So look what’s happening – the short term ‘fix’ assures that the problem will continue (and even worsen).  Is that not the most beautiful trick?  The ‘cure’ assures its own increasing necessity – it’s positively brilliant (and diabolical).

Using Acidophilus & Enzymes:  Acidophilus supplements (Shaklee Optiflora) protect the esophagus without killing acid (while killing the pain almost immediately).  When the stomach is low on acid it tends to also be low on digestive enzymes.  Believe it or not, the solution (along with acidophilus protection) is to ADD acid (drinking apple cider vinegar and water works very well – a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar daily can really help this problem.  For very severe issues using extra Hydrochloric Acid tablets is the answer.  Thorne is a good brand) and to add digestive enzymes (Shakee’s EZ-Gest & Peppermint Ginger Stomach Soothing Complex) at the same time.  Remember, it isn’t acid that’s the problem (you need it desperately for digestion); it’s acid reaching the esophagus.  Proper digestion allows for higher concentration of acid while tightening the GE junction and protecting the esophagus.
Shaklee Digestive Health Solutions

Chewing on Epic – Xylitol peppermint gum after eating can also help.  Avoiding refined sugar and white flour products also helps.  And not eating after 7 p.m. is a must!

Killing off acid; however, it’s done, is a serious mistake with long-term consequences if pursued over time.  In our opinion, poor digestion is the genesis of all sorts of problems…but that’s just us!!!

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