Recurring Heartburn? Could reducing ammonium be key?
Heartburn affects millions of people in the UK and according to the NHS, “about 1 in 5 people are thought to experience at least 1 episode of GORD a week”. Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease, more commonly known as acid reflux or heartburn.
If you’re one of the millions suffering from the discomfort of this agonising condition, you might have tried a range of medicines with their side effects and as any GP will tell you can only be used for the short term. Many throw themselves at natural remedies, however this is not always the solution as some simply create a barrier between your stomach lining and the acid in your stomach. Other try to balance the pH, either way, you’re not getting to the route of the problem.
What is ammonia and ammonium?
Ammonium is present in some foods, particularly fermented foods such as cheese and wine. It is also a by-product of protein breakdown. This is why high protein diets are an issue for people with kidney disorders as they are unable to effectively eliminate ammonium. Ammonium is also transported from the intestines to the liver via the portal vein is detoxified by the liver using bicarbonate taken from the stomach.
Ammonium is also produced by certain types of bacteria in the gut, meaning some infections can cause unusually high levels. The ammonium is produced in response to an enzyme called urease. This happens when urea is broken down by the enzyme urease, dividing it into carbon dioxide and ammonia. Through protonation, the ammonia takes up the hydrogen atom and converts ammonia into ammonium.
Bacteria such as Helicobacter Pylori excrete the urease enzyme which raises the stomach pH and ‘liquifying’ the stomach acid allowing the rotating flagella of the bacteria to make its way towards the stomach lining.
Although ammonium is essential to life, too much can cause problems in the liver. Too much ammonium in the blood is dangerous and when this happens, it can become neurotoxic (toxic to the nervous system).
The role of ammonium and bicarbonate in recurring heartburn
Firstly, ammonium is alkaline so it will neutralise any gastric acid it comes into contact with in the stomach. This leads to low levels of acid in the stomach and causes reflux as food is not digested properly. As a result, food is pushed back up towards the throat allowing even a small amount of gastric acid to make its way back up the oesophagus and cause that burning sensation and the unpleasant taste in the back of your throat.
Secondly, instead of being used up to counteract acid, bicarbonate is also used by the liver to detoxify ammonium via urine. This leaves excess acid in the stomach which can lead to recurring heartburn.
When too much ammonium is present in the body it can cause recurring heartburn. In addition, histamine also plays a role in activating gastric acid. Excess histamine in the digestive tract can lead to an over-production of acid, therefore causing a recurrence of heartburn. Those with a histamine intolerance are more likely to be affected by this.
How does MANC® reduce ammonium?
MANC® (modified and activated clinoptilolite) is patented for the binding and removal of ammonium, histamine, heavy metals, aluminium, cadmium and further biogenic amines from the body.
The MANC®, absorbs and eliminates ammonium from the stomach and intestines. This optimises the level of acid in the stomach, ensuring that there isn't too much acid, nor too little acid, both of which cause heartburn. Once the MANC® has bound to the toxins such as ammonium, it travels through the digestive tract where it is passed out with our body’s natural bowel movement.