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Chocolate, wine, spicy foods may be OK for heartburn, Stanford study finds

alone is adequate to treat the symptoms of heartburn. "The main reason they probably have heartburn is that their sphincter muscle is relaxing too much and taking the medicine will decrease the amount of acid that's going into their esophagus," she said.

"Since I don't have a lot of evidence that changing their diet dramatically is going to take the heartburn away, it makes more sense just to take the medicine," she added.

That said, Gerson allowed that for some patients, a minor change in diet can make sense. "If a patient comes in and states, 'Red wine really gives me terrible heartburn,' then it may be reasonable to say, 'Well, you could avoid it, or you could take a medication before you drink some red wine,'" she said.<

According to the ACG, more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month and estimates are that more than 15 million suffer from it daily. For the great majority of those sufferers, Gerson's recent findings could free them from the bonds of dietary self-denial. She is considering doing studies of her own to learn more about what effects dietary changes actually have - or don't have - on heartburn.

"It probably wouldn't be that hard to recruit volunteers for a study of chocolate," Gerson noted. "People like to eat chocolate."


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Source:Stanford University Medical Center


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