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Could the water people swallow their acid reflux pills with be more therapeutic than the drugs themselves?
In 2008, a remarkable study took place comparing a glass of water to an antacid and "acid blocking" drugs, in their overall effect in increasing gastric pH (i.e. making it more alkaline) in healthy subjects.
Published in the journal Digestive Diseases & Science , researchers took 12 healthy subjects who were screened to be negative for Helicobacter pylori infection, and gave them a single oral dose of the following agents:
- A glass of water (200 ml)
- Ranitidine (Zantac)
- Omeprazole  (Prilosec/Losec)
- Esomeprazole  (Nexium)
- Rabeprazole (AcipHex)
Gastric pH was recorded for six hours after drug intake.
The study found it took the following duration to increase gastric pH >4:
- Water increased pH >4 in 10/12 subjects after 1 minute
- Antacid increased pH >4 in 2 minutes
- Rantidine increased pH >4 in 50 minutes
- Omeprazole increased pH >4 in 171 minutes
- Esomeprazole increased pH >4 in 151 minutes
- Rabeprazole increased pH >4 in 175 minutes
The results were discussed in greater detail:
Gastric pH >4 lasted for 3 min after water and for 12 min after antacids; it remained >4 until the end of recording in: 4/12 subjects with ranitidine, 11/12 with rabeprazole, and all with omeprazole and esomeprazole.
While the duration of action was shortest for water, the authors noted at the outset of their study that the onset of action is of key importance in when it comes to treatment:
Onset of action of antisecretory agents is of pivotal importance for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) treated "on demand."
What would you rather do? Get instant relief with a glass of water, which has loads of side benefits to your health, or wait between 50 minutes to 175 minutes (close to 3 hours!) as the excess acid burns the lining of your stomach, using a chemical class of drugs which have the potential to cause the following unintended, adverse side effects:
- Clostridium Infections
- Vitamin C Deficiency
- Gastric Cancer
- Bone Fractures
- Magnesium Deficiency
- Vitamin B12 Deficiency
[View the entire list of 30+ adverse effects on our Acid Blocker  Research page.]
Of course, water will only "water down" a problem that is often a direct result of bad food combining, excessive portions, food-body incompatibilities, acute or chronic stress, undiagnosed overgrowth of pathogens, and environmental allergies, to name but a few known contributing factors. But, water can do no harm, whereas using chemicals to poison the proton pumps or histamine receptors on the parietal cells in the stomach into shutting down acid production has an obvious set of serious side effects that can and should be avoided, whenever possible.
Remember that before the symptoms of chronic heartburn were reified and concretized into the "disease" of acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) people took responsibility for and control over their condition by going back to the basics, e.g. diet, lifestyle, stress, etc.
For additional research on natural, albeit palliative "acid reflux" solutions, GreenMedInfo.com contains a list of two dozen substances which have been researched to have potential therapeutic value. Take a look by visiting our Acid Reflux  research page. Also, consider eliminating wheat , as it has a prominent dark side which may have profound bearing on chronic heartburn symptoms.