[The] study in rats showed that gastroesophageal reflux causes tissue in the esophagus to release immune chemicals called cytokines, which attract inflammatory cells. These cause the heartburn and chest pain that make GERD [gastroesophageal reflux disease] so distressing.
“Currently, we treat GERD by giving medications to prevent the stomach from making acid,” said Dr. Rhonda Souza, who led the study published in the November issue of Gastroenterology.
“But if GERD is really an immune-mediated injury, maybe we should create medications that would prevent these cytokines from attracting inflammatory cells to the esophagus and starting the injury in the first place.
Acid reflux is very common. According to the article, 20% of Americans “have it regularly”. All this supports my view that we need plenty of bacteria in our diet to be healthy, that few Americans get enough bacteria in their diet, and that the deficiency causes all sorts of digestive and immune problems.