Vitamin C and Acid Reflux Syndrome Reason for Moderation


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Vitamin C affects acid reflux in two different manners. One way is direct, and the other is in a very roundabout way. Many things that are well known for having vitamin C in them are trigger foods for acid flare-ups and the subsequent heartburn. These include many citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, pineapple, and lemons. They are highly acidic, and they also trigger the stomach to produce more acid. Vitamin C is vital for good health, but when the acid production is stimulated by these foods, you have to find alternatives, or you have to take a supplement.

Vitamin C is essential for many reasons. The most well known benefit of vitamin C is that it helps the body fight off colds. It is also a key part of collagen production. Collagen is an essential part of healthy skin, blood vessels, and joint tissues. It is also needed for repair. When you suffer a wound of any type, vitamin C races to the site to help heal. It is also important for the strength and growth of bones and teeth. However, many who find that citrus and vitamin C aggravates or stimulates stomach acid production will avoid the foods, and thus, problems start to appear.

When you notice that you are not getting enough vitamin C, you might be tempted to take a supplement. This is something you should discuss with your doctor before you begin. Though you can get some from supplements, they can cause problems. If you are taking too much, your body must work overtime to get rid of the excess. This can lead to liver damage over time. It might also contribute to joint pain in some people. If it is used excessively, it can produce softening of the bones. Also, these supplements can trigger excess acid production and irritation in the stomach in the very same ways that citrus fruits will. It is far safer to find your vitamin C in food sources that will not trigger your acid reflux.

There is some food sources for vitamin C that you can include in your diet to make up for what you are not getting from the more obvious sources. If you find that citrus does not bother you very much in regards to your acid reflux syndrome, then you can eat those and be done with it.

However, if it does bother you, as it does many others, you should try to have some of the following each day and even each meal. You can try papaya, strawberries, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, and kiwi. Some may exacerbate symptoms but you may find you can get what you need from some of them. Tomatoes are a great source, but they tend to aggravate acid reflux.

If you are concerned about your vitamin C intake, you can talk to your doctor. Remember that a supplement might actually do more harm than good if you have acid reflux syndrome, and many doctors will not suggest taking vitamin C as a supplement. If your doctor recommends the supplement, taking them in small doses in the middle of meals might help reduce excess acid production. Keep track of what foods you are eating and how many supplements you might be taking. Remember that the body does not store vitamin C, so you should find out what your body needs each day, and make sure you are getting it from the foods that are easily tolerated by your system.


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4 Responses

  1. Carolyn HOfer
    April 26th, 2007 | 6:10 pm

    I think I found out was at the bottom of my digestion problems. About a year ago, I started taking Actonel for marginal low bone density. I didn’t have any problems with it for a long time; however, this winter, I had a virus which required me to take a penicillin antibiotic and then after I finished the antibiotic, I started having a really sore throat - kind of tight and uncomfortable feeling. Then I started getting heartburn and after researching it, I knew it was acid reflux. I thought maybe the antibiotic had caused the problem with a yeast infection developing in my stomach and it may have. I started taking natural supplements to restablish the good bacteria and drinking aloe juice. It was a little better but then I took Prilosec OTC for the two weeks. It was alot better during that time but when I went off - it came right back even worse. I really didn’t want to go to the doctor quite yet because they would just put me on medicine permanently and I was traveling out of town so I decided to quit taking the Actonel and went back on the Prilosec but after a week, I cut the pills in half. I have been off of them for two weeks now and still not taking the Actonel and I am doing great. I have changed my eating habits alot and I am sure that helps as well. I am going to have to make an appointment at the doctor to see if there is an alternative to the Actonel.

  2. George
    April 27th, 2007 | 12:16 am

    I have acid reflux, but it’s caused by too little stomach acid, not too much (my Dr. did a Heidelburg test). My Dr. prescribed 1500mg betaine hydrochloride before each meal. I discovered that most people over 40 who have heartburn produce too little stomach acid, so taking antacids or purple pills may give symptom relief, but they make the problem worse over time, and cause other digestion related problems, like osteoporosis.

    As long as I remember to take my betaine HCL, I can eat anything I want.

    I don’t have a problem with vitamin C, but if you do, maybe try the sodium ascorbate form. I use it in powder form to cut the acidity of acidic drinks, which burn going down but don’t cause a problem after. Interestingly, apple juice, which is acidic, doesn’t burn, but orange juice does.

    I sometimes have problems with cooked tomato (sauce, paste, V-8 juice). I can drink V-8 if I blend in a banana and 12 oz of pineapple juice with 64 oz of V-8. Raw tomatoes are OK and pizza too if it’s not too heavy on the sauce.

  3. April 27th, 2007 | 10:45 am

    Thanks for your comments Carolyn and George. It’s always great to hear what’s working (or not working) for others.

  4. titi
    April 30th, 2007 | 4:24 pm

    i also have relexes. my doctor says my reflexes is caused my bacteria in the stomach. it got so bad that some times i could not breathing. he then prescribed anti acid but i was allegic so he prescribed a drug called prevpac that says it will cure your reflexes. it 3 different drug none of which is antiacid and two anti bacteria. i feel great even thought i am officially cured i still can’t enjoy the food i love like pizza or lazansia or any of the food group that was mentioned to me by my doctor but no more heart burn.

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