Chronic indigestion in Dallas can mean more than sleepless nights and a reliance on antacids. It can mean an end to indulging in any of the dishes that make Dallas cuisine so special.
Recent research from the Yale University School of Medicine indicates that taking a common and essential mineral can relieve indigestion and acid reflux. This type of indigestion is incredibly common in the United States, affecting more than 50 million Americans.
This promising mineral is zinc. In a study of 12 participants, Yale’s researchers found that 200 mg of zinc chloride administered orally after a 10-hour fast quickly reduced stomach acid secretion. The lowered secretions continued for three or more hours.
Acidity in participants receiving plain water or an acid reflux PPI medication remained high. The researchers indicate that delayed relief is a long-standing shortcoming of PPIs. Their findings, published in the January 2011 American Journal of Gastroenterology, also mention that regular use of zinc also thickens the stomach surface’s acid-buffering protective gel layer.
The stomach’s acid-secreting parietal cells contain tiny pumps that release acidic hydrogen ions. PPI acid reflux medications block the pumps’ ion release. Their regular use, however, may cause zinc deficiency. As an essential mineral, zinc helps cells grow properly. Zinc deficiency may cause nerve damage, problems with developing infants and digestive system irregularity.
The Yale researchers speculate that zinc may relieve indigestion quickly by preventing the negative electrical charge that signals the stomach cavity to begin producing acid. They suggest that at daily levels higher than the National Institutes of Health’s recommended 8 to 11 mg, zinc may be a supplemental or alternative acid reflux treatment.
If indigestion has put your favorite Dallas cooking off limits, talk to your doctor about adding zinc to your acid reflux treatment regimen.