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Dear Dr Cannell: Vitamin D and acid reflux

Posted on: September 7, 2011   by  John Cannell, MD

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Dear Dr. Cannell:

I don’t recall which vitamin D newsletter it was, but I do remember you were looking for people who suffer from acid reflux. Well I had been a sufferer for 5 years and decided I didn’t want to be on meds my whole life since I am only in my early 30s. Therefore, I did my research and found that by taking between 2000-5000 IU of vitamin D daily has made my symptoms completely disappear. I am happy to report that I am off meds and can enjoy foods I had not been able to in quite some time. I have shared the vitamin D news with others in my family who suffered from acid reflux as well, and they are having success being on vitamin D and off meds. I hope you find studies to support this because it works!

Annie, Wisconsin

Dear Annie:

Great news. I doubt it works for everyone and, to the best of my knowledge, no scientist has even measured vitamin D levels in the condition. However, a weak muscle is involved, the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus. Vitamin D increases muscle strength and should help the condition in some people.

Here is also an opportunity for a researcher looking to break into the vitamin D field. Simply do a cross-sectional study measuring vitamin D levels in people with gastro esophageal reflux. I bet they are lower than controls.

2 Responses to Dear Dr Cannell: Vitamin D and acid reflux

  1. [email protected]

    I got acid reflux after starting to take large amounts of ascorbic acid, due to the acidity apparently. I then switched to mineral ascorbates (magnesium primarily) which are buffered but it took quite awhile for the acid reflux to go away. I think it is because once it is damaged, the acid in the stomach constantly irritates it, as well as acidic foods. I found that fasting a day greatly speeded up the healing. Also I take about 6-8000 IU of D based on blood tests over the last couple of years, giving me about 90 ng/l. (I’m a male, 190#, age 56).

  2. [email protected]

    Note I’m backing off to 5000/day to get more to the 50 range. I was targeting 80 but that seems a bit high after reading. I was at 47 taking 4-5000 before.

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