by Jack Oswald
More than 40% of Americans suffer from heartburn symptoms at least once a month, and almost everyone will experience heartburn at some point in their lives.
We spend billions of dollars every year on medicines to treat acid reflux symptoms—but they don’t solve the problem. And worse yet, there are potential long-term risks from these medicines. Many people, eschewing pharmaceuticals, are looking for a natural solution.
One of the most popular recent trends has been to turn to probiotics—live bacteria and yeasts found in foods like yogurt and kefir or taken as supplements. But these popular supplements may not be helping heartburn or other GI issues.
The scientific literature has shown that people who suffer with symptoms of acid reflux often have an altered microbiome (dysbiosis) at the gastroesophageal junction. These interloper bacteria have been shown to cause delayed gastric emptying and induce abnormal relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle that keeps the acid in your stomach and not your throat).
Studies have also shown that people who suffer with these symptoms often have underlying local and systemic inflammation and that inflammation causes further weakening of the esophageal muscle.
How did this happen? Contributing factors may include inappropriate diet, antibiotics, infection, toxins, etc. But once disrupted, the advantageous symbiotic relationship of the local microbiome may become a pathogenic one.
To really heal, the local microbiome has to be brought back into balance, and doing that begins with feeding the good bacteria that are already there but lying dormant because they aren’t getting the right nutrition.
So why are our microbiomes starving? The good bacteria in our digestive system evolved to feed on naturally fermented foods, but our modern diets no longer include the amounts of these foods that they need. So the good bacteria lie dormant, and our system gets out of whack, leading to a number of health issues, including heartburn.
This bacterial imbalance doesn’t just impact heartburn symptoms. Our entire bodies are affected. When the balance is restored, then a number of systems improve including overall digestive balance and regularity, healthy immune system, appetite management, blood sugar management, healthy cholesterol levels, and mineral absorption for bone health.
Luckily, there are two natural ways to amend this deficiency and feed our microbiomes: eat several servings a day of fermented foods—like sauerkraut, kimchi, or heirloom sourdough bread—or take a naturally fermented microFood supplement like ISOThrive.
MicroFood supplements (also known as prebiotics) are zero-calorie complex carbohydrates. They supply food for your body’s beneficial bacteria. ISOThrive is a natural complex carbohydrate called MIMO (maltosyl-iso-malto-oligosaccharides).
We have found that a daily dose of the right kind of microFood (like ISOThrive, i.e. naturally fermented) reduced or eliminated heartburn symptoms in 88% of users who self-identified as having acid reflux symptoms. Those suffering from heartburn and are struggling to find a natural solution would do well to try feeding their microbiomes.
About the author:
Jack Oswald is co-founder and one of the inventors of ISOThrive. A serial entrepreneur, his current focus is health and nutrition. Jack is a Member of the Board of Trustees, as well as on the faculty of the school of engineering at the University of California, Merced. Jack is a graduate of Dartmouth College (AB Engineering) and Harvard Business School (MBA).