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More Good News for Acid/Bile Reflux Sufferers

Astaxanthin, a pigment used to give salmon its pink color, may reduce indigestion and reflux symptoms according to researchers from Lithuania, Sweden and Denmark.

According to their recent study a high dose (40mg) of astaxanthin was found to reduce acid/bile reflux symptoms. These benefits were most notable in study participants who tested positive for Helicobactor Pylori (H Pylori) which causes stomach ulcers.

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that is most often associated with eye and skin health benefits. But according to this research, astaxanthin benefits may also include stomach and digestion health.

The double blind, placebo controlled study recruited 132 participants suffering from acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion. Each participant was tested for H Pylori and then randomly given 16mg or 40mg per day of astaxanthin, or a placebo.

After one month the researchers did not observe any difference in the three groups using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) which scores abdominal pain, indigestion and reflux syndrome. But then they dug a little deeper.

While no benefit was recorded based on the GSRS scale, researchers did find a significant benefit when looking at acid/bile reflux syndrome alone – particularly in those who tested positive for H Pylori.

More research needs to be done but one author of the study hypothesizes that the stronger response in participants who tested positive for H Pylori was because of reduced oxidative stress in the stomach, which he attributes to astaxanthin.

Up until a few years ago it was thought that stress caused stomach ulcers. But in 2005 Doctors Barry Marshall and J. Robin Warren won the Nobel Prize for discovering that bacterial infections, specifically, H Pylori infections - caused stomach ulcers. In fact, about 90% of ulcers are caused by these dangerous bacteria.

Other recent studies have shown cranberry and probiotics to be powerful weapons against H Pylori bacteria, especially when taken together. This latest research may open the door to one more natural alternative in the fight against H Pylori and the damage these bacteria cause inside your stomach.

Source: Phytomedicine
Volume 15, Pages 391-399
"Efficacy of the natural antioxidant astaxanthin in the treatment of functional dyspepsia in patients with or without Helicobacter pylori infection: A prospective, randomized, double blind, and placebo-controlled study"
Authors: L. Kupcinskas, P. Lafolie, A. Lignell, G. Kiudelis, L. Jonaitis, K. Adamonis, L. Percival Andersen, T. Wadstrom
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