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Concept: Antacid


Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are drugs used to suppress gastric acid production and treat GI disorders such as peptic ulcers and gastro-oesophageal reflux. They have been considered low risk, have been widely adopted, and are often over-prescribed. Recent studies have identified an increased risk of enteric and other infections with their use. Small studies have identified possible associations between PPI use and GI microbiota, but this has yet to be carried out on a large population-based cohort.

Concepts: Gut flora, Acid, Proton, Stomach, Peptic ulcer, Gastric acid, Parietal cell, Antacid


Probably due to caffeine-induced gastric acid secretion, negative effects of coffee upon various upper-gastrointestinal diseases have been precariously accepted, despite the inadequate epidemiological evidence. Our aim is to evaluate the effect of coffee consumption on four major acid-related diseases: gastric ulcer (GU), duodenal ulcer (DU), reflux esophagitis (RE), and non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) based on the large-scale multivariate analysis. Of the 9,517 healthy adults, GU, DU, and RE were diagnosed by endoscopy, and NERD was diagnosed by the symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation without esophageal erosion. Associations between coffee consumption and the four disorders were evaluated, together with age, gender, body mass index (BMI), Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection status, pepsinogen I/II ratio, smoking, and alcohol. We further performed meta-analysis using the random effects model to redefine the relationship between coffee intake and peptic ulcer disease. The eligible 8,013 study subjects comprised of 5,451 coffee drinkers and 2,562 non-coffee drinkers. By univariate analysis, age, BMI, pepsinogen I/II ratio, smoking, and alcohol showed significant associations with coffee consumption. By multiple logistic regression analysis, positively correlated factors with significance were HP infection, current smoking, BMI, and pepsinogen I/II ratio for GU; HP infection, pepsinogen I/II ratio, and current smoking for DU; HP non-infection, male, BMI, pepsinogen I/II ratio, smoking, age, and alcohol for RE; younger age, smoking, and female for NERD. The meta-analyses could detect any association of coffee consumption with neither GU nor DU. In conclusion, there are no significant relationship between coffee consumption and the four major acid-related upper gastrointestinal disorders.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Gastroenterology, Stomach, Helicobacter pylori, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Peptic ulcer, Gastritis, Antacid


The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms in pregnancy is very high, up to 80%, with a maximum peak during the third trimester. Together with lifestyle modifications, antacids and antisecretive agents, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine H2receptor antagonists (H2RAs), are commonly prescribed in non-pregnant, adult population. In certain Countries these drugs are not allowed in or are allowed only during the late stages of pregnancy. Alginate-based formulations have been used for the symptomatic treatment of heartburn for decades, as they usually contain sodium or potassium bicarbonate. In the presence of gastric acid, a foamy raft is created above the gastric contents. The alginate raft moves into the esophagus in place or ahead of acidic gastric contents during reflux episodes physically preventing reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. Alginate-based formulations are allowed with no restrictions also in pregnancy: their safety profile make them a very valid option taking into account the risk/benefit ratio for both parturient and unborn baby. This systematic review paper aims to explore the use of medications for treating GERD in pregnancy, including alginate raft-forming-agents, highlighting the benefits for both the mother and the fetus. Electronic search in databases was conducted on databases such as Medline, PubMed, Ovid retrieving data concerning the reflux treatments in pregnancy, with a special focus on alginate raft forming antireflux agents. From the literature on alginate use in pregnancy, no particular risks have been shown to date for both parturient and unborn baby when alginate had been administered during all the pregnancy trimesters. The physical mode of action ensures the maximum esophageal protection by the neutral foam floating in the stomach, maintaining physiological pH values at stomach level, without interfering with the digestive processes. The symptoms' healing has been markedly improved during the weeks of observation; the symptoms monitored in all studies were: heartburn, regurgitation, pain (chest). After four weeks of treatment little or no change was observed in maternal mean sodium or potassium concentrations. No sodium restriction diet has been adopted. No edema of lower limbs or weight gain occurred. No adverse reactions related to the testing drug had been reported and all the authors concluded that alginate was safe for the unborn baby. Nowadays pharmacological treatments for GER are available as OTC drugs, including antacids, antisecretive agents, PPIs and H2RAs, and as medical devices, such as alginate raft forming antireflux agents (i.e.: Reflubloc™, Novartis NCH Italy). On this last product, considering the specific indication in pregnancy and the safety profile, without restrictions of administration during the whole pregnancy period, furthermore the physical mode of action, it gives the gynecologists a very important option in treating GER in pregnancy, taking care of both pregnant and fetus. Raft-forming-antireflux agents are safe and effective in GER treatment during pregnancy.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Stomach, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Digestion, Gastric acid, Cardia, Esophageal cancer, Antacid


ABSTRACT Chewing gum alleviates symptoms of gastro-esophageal reflux (GER) following a refluxogenic meal. GutsyGum™, a chewing gum developed to alleviate the symptoms of GER contains calcium carbonate, with a proprietary blend of licorice extract, papain, and apple cider vinegar (GiGs®). The efficacy of GutsyGum™ was determined in alleviating the symptoms of GER after a refluxogenic meal compared to placebo gum. This double-blind, placebo-controlled-crossover trial with a one-week washout between treatments had 24 participants with a history of GER consume a refluxogenic meal and then chew GutsyGum™ or placebo gum. Participants completed GER symptom questionnaires, consisting of symptom based 10 cm Visual Analogue Scales, immediately following the meal and then at regular intervals out to four hours postmeal. Adjusted mean ± SEM heartburn score (15-min postmeal to 240 min) was significantly lower in GutsyGum™ than in placebo gum treatment (0.81 ± 0.20 vs. 1.45 ± 0.20 cm; p = 0.034). Mean acid reflux score was significantly lower in GutsyGum™ than in placebo treatment (0.72 ± 0.19 vs. 1.46 ± 0.19 cm; p = 0.013). There were no significant differences for any of the secondary outcomes. However, pain approached significance with less pain reported in GutsyGum™ versus placebo treatment (0.4 ± 0.2 vs. 0.9 ± 0.2 cm; p = 0.081). Although nausea (p = 0.114) and belching (p = 0.154) were lower following GutsyGum™, the difference was not statistically significant. GutsyGum™ is more effective than a placebo gum in alleviating primary symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux (Clinical Trial Registration: ACTRN12612000973819).

Concepts: Statistical significance, Symptoms, Gastroenterology, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Vinegar, Esophageal cancer, Heartburn, Antacid


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as a “disease that develops when the reflux of stomach contents induces troublesome symptoms and/or complications”. From a therapeutic point of view, many options have been proposed, including proton pump inhibitors (PPI), antihistamines (H2- receptor antagonists), antacid chemical compounds, antireflux barrier (using alginates), prokinetics, inhibitors of gastric sphincters, protection of mucosal tissue, neuromodulators, nociceptor antagonists, lifestyle modification, and surgery. A new medical compound has been recently launched in Italy: Marial® (manufactured by Aurora, Milan, Italy) containing magnesium alginate and E-Gastryal®. The aim of this survey was to analyse the patients’ characteristics and the prescriptive approach considering both the past or current treatments and clinical features during a visit in 56 gastroenterological centers, distributed in the whole of Italy. One thousand eight hundred forty-nine patients (46.5% males, and 53.5% females, mean age 48.59 years) were visited. Patients with positive reflux symptoms index (RSI+) had higher GIS scores than RSI- subjects. PPIs (both as monotherapy or plus add-on) were the most common medication prescribed before the visit. There was a significant change of prescription to Marial® at the visit. More precisely,, Marial® was preferentially prescribed to about a quarter of the patients, particularly to those with lower GIS score, whereas PPI plus add-on option was preferred for patients with higher GIS score. In conclusion, the current experience demonstrated that GERD may be managed considering a patient-centred work-up by using the GIS questionnaire. GIS score may be able to define the medication choice that includes also the new medical compound Marial®.

Concepts: Medicine, Gastroenterology, Stomach, Chemical compound, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Lansoprazole, Antacid, Gaviscon


We assessed the relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hypertension and whether antiacid therapy could be used to control blood pressure (BP) on hypertension in patients with GERD.

Concepts: Hypertension, Obesity, Blood pressure, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Medical conditions related to obesity, Heartburn, Antacid, Gaviscon


In 2011 a new syndrome termed ‘ASIA Autoimmune/Inflammatory Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants’ was defined pointing to summarize for the first time the spectrum of immune-mediated diseases triggered by an adjuvant stimulus such as chronic exposure to silicone, tetramethylpentadecane, pristane, aluminum and other adjuvants, as well as infectious components, that also may have an adjuvant effect. All these environmental factors have been found to induce autoimmunity by themselves both in animal models and in humans: for instance, silicone was associated with siliconosis, aluminum hydroxide with post-vaccination phenomena and macrophagic myofasciitis syndrome. Several mechanisms have been hypothesized to be involved in the onset of adjuvant-induced autoimmunity; a genetic favorable background plays a key role in the appearance on such vaccine-related diseases and also justifies the rarity of these phenomena. This paper will focus on protean facets which are part of ASIA, focusing on the roles and mechanisms of action of different adjuvants which lead to the autoimmune/inflammatory response. The data herein illustrate the critical role of environmental factors in the induction of autoimmunity. Indeed, it is the interplay of genetic susceptibility and environment that is the major player for the initiation of breach of tolerance.

Concepts: Immune system, Environment, Natural environment, Aluminium, Adjuvant, The Onset, Antacid, Aluminium hydroxide


Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were clinically introduced more than 25 years ago and have since proven to be invaluable, safe, and effective agents for the management of a variety of acid-related disorders. Although all members in this class act in a similar fashion, inhibiting active parietal cell acid secretion, there are slight differences among PPIs relating to their pharmacokinetic properties, metabolism, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved clinical indications. Nevertheless, each is effective in managing gastroesophageal reflux disease and uncomplicated or complicated peptic ulcer disease. Despite their overall efficacy, PPIs do have some limitations related to their short plasma half-lives and requirement for meal-associated dosing, which can lead to breakthrough symptoms in some individuals, especially at night. Longeracting PPIs and technology to prolong conventional PPI activity have been developed to specifically address these limitations and may improve clinical outcomes.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Stomach, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Peptic ulcer, Gastric acid, Parietal cell, Antacid, H2 antagonist


Baking soda is a common household product promoted by the manufacturer as an antacid. It contains sodium bicarbonate and has the potential for significant toxicity when ingested in excessive amounts. Characterizing the patterns and outcomes from the misuse of baking soda as a home remedy can guide the clinical assessment and preventative counselling of patients at risk for use of this product.

Concepts: Calcium carbonate, Poison, Sodium bicarbonate, Hydrochloric acid, Antacid, Sodium carbonate, Natron, Solvay process


The highly acidic nature of the gastric fluids inside the human stomach can cause have health problems in certain individuals e.g., acid reflux and ulcers. Antacid-loaded biopolymer microgels can be used to control the acidity of the gastric fluids, which may be useful for developing functional foods to treat these problems. In this study, the impact of biopolymer microgel dimensions and composition on the dissolution rate of encapsulated antacid was determined under simulated gastric conditions. The microgels were formed by injecting antacid (magnesium hydroxide) and biopolymers (alginate or alginate/pectin) into a calcium chloride solution to promote cross-linking. Microgels of varying dimensions were formed using either a hand-held syringe or a vibrating nozzle encapsulation device with different nozzle sizes. The rate of antacid dissolution was measured using an automatic titration device (pH stat) that added HCl solution into the simulated gastric fluids to maintain a constant pH of 2.5. The antacid dissolution rate decreased with increasing microgel diameter (300 to 1660 μm) and decreasing pore size (0.8 to 2.0% alginate). The slowest dissolution rate was observed in microgels containing 80% alginate and 20% pectin, which may have been due to the impact of biopolymer composition on bead dimensions and pore size. The results of this study may be useful for the design of biopolymer microgels that can control the release of antacids in the stomach, thereby leading to better control over the pH of the gastric fluids.

Concepts: Acid, Stomach, Peptic ulcer, Chlorine, Gastric acid, Base, Hydrochloric acid, Antacid