One of the leading cause of esophageal cancers is GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and Obesity . In GERD the acid relux from stomach into the esophagus causes constant damage to the GE Junction, resulting into a precancerous state called BARRETT’s Esophagus and ultimately cancer of the esophagus (Food Pipe).
So what mechanism do we have to prevent this Reflux ??
To prevent the reflux of acid from stomach into the esophagus the Gastro-esophageal sphincter acts like a rubber band between the food pipe and the stomach. As this band tightens the reflux of acid reduces and whenthis band stretches and gets lax the reflux of acid from stomach into the esophagus increases. The Figure underneath tells us about the food that tightens this band thus causing decreased reflux and which food relaxes the band resulting in increased reflux.
Foods that relax the band or cause reflux
- High Fat content
- Fried foods
- Sausages , bacon , potato chips
- Ice cream
- Alcohol, Mint , Citrus , Tomatoes, Carbonated beverages
Basically all that we as kids use to think is great is all that causes GERD and predisposes us to Esophageal cancer
Foods that Strengthens the Band or Prevents reflux
- High protein content
- Fruits like Melons and Bananas
- Green leafy vegetables like kale and broccolli
- Oatmeal and High fibre food
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