Dublin, OH - Millions of people experience the discomfort and pain of heartburn. Finding a safe solution can be difficult since many remedies look to reduce stomach acid, which can be harmful. Such a tactic can diminish protection against bacterial infection creating additional pain. A recent pilot study shows there may be a new, natural way of relieving heartburn sufferers.
For two weeks, subjects with frequent heartburn used a placebo, a popular antacid (ranitidine) or a fenugreek fiber product (FenuLife from Frutarom Belgium, N.V., Londerzeel, Belgium) 30 minutes before meals, twice per day. The main question this study poses is: does fenugreek fiber provide a possible and effective option for heartburn treatment? Study data suggests the answer is yes. In fact, the 45-participant study showed that fenugreek decreased heartburn severity as well as the drug.
According to researchers, "a water-soluble fiber fraction of fenugreek was more effective than placebo, and similarly effective as a positive control (ranitidine). Thus, this study raises the possibility that the intake of fenugreek fiber provides a natural alternative to over the counter antacids for preventing certain degrees of heartburn."
However, further studies are required in order to determine whether complete or near complete remission of heartburn can be achieved through taking fenugreek. The results are published in Phytotherapy Research.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, April 2011 (online 2/25/11)