- Sept. 27, 2019
-- New research on gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD) in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, by Shih YS et. al., was published in Phytomedicine in 2019. In this study, 90 patients with GERD were randomly assigned to a control group and a treatment group. In the control group, Proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) – omepraxole, 20mg - was given to patients once a day, with placebo Chinese formula called Wu Ju Yu Tong, three times per day for 4 weeks. In the treatment group, patients took omepraxole placebo once per day and real Wu Ju Yu Tang three times per day for 4 weeks. Reflux Disease Questionnaire and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Questionnaire (GERDQ) scores were used to compare the effect of Proton-pump inhibitors and Chinese herbal formula for acid reflux. With these questionnaires, a lower score indicates less acid reflux symptoms. The researchers did three assessments:
one before the treatment, called baseline, a second 28 days after the first acupuncture treatment, and a third 56 days after the initial treatment, 4 weeks post-treatment. Comparing the treatment and control groups, there was no significant difference between them in the first and second assessments:
both groups showed a lower score after patients finished 4-week treatment compared to the baseline. On the other hand, the scores of the two groups were significantly different, as compared to baseline and4 weeks post-treatment:
lower in the treatment group as compared to the control group. In conclusion, Wu Ju Yu Tong had an effect similar to omeprazole for GERD treatment, but the therapeutic effect resulting from Wu Ju Yu Tong appeared to be maintained for a longer period of time than did that of omeprazole, the proton-pump inhibitor.
The proton pump inhibitor can cause many side effects because the reduction of the acid secretion in the stomach can influence protein, vitamin and mineral absorption. People who take a proton pump inhibitor for a long time can develop Vitamin B6 and B12 deficiencies and anaemia. Furthermore, the deficiency of vitamins and minerals can lead to abnormal function of the nervous system. Clinically, people can develop severe allergies, panic attack and anxiety if they cannot digest protein and vitamins and minerals thoroughly. They can also develop degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, macular degeneration and neuropathy simply because we need healthy nervous systems and blood vessels to repair their joints and other tissues. On the other hand, Chinese herbs can improve digestive function, so that food will not be stuck in the stomach for too long and increase stomach pressure, causing acid reflux.
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