GERD and Acid Reflux Treatment with the Mediterranean Diet

Adults who adhere to a Mediterranean diet are less likely than those who do not suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Mediterranean Diet

Eating habits that influence the Mediterranean region are native to that area. The diet has become more well-known as a model for those looking to adopt healthier eating habits since it places restrictions on the consumption of processed foods, added sugars, and other high-calorie, less nutritionally packed food items.

The Mediterranean diet lowers the incidence of diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Also, it includes high blood pressure, cholesterol, and cardiovascular mortality. It also appeals to many people who want to reduce weight or sustain a healthy weight.

This is because of the Mediterranean diet’s lack of restrictions, simplicity of implementation, and abundance of nutritious foods. Given the numerous possible health advantages the Mediterranean diet provides, it is not surprising that people with GERD will probably also experience advantages.

GERD and Acid Reflux

When stomach contents reflux into the esophagus, a persistent digestive illness refers to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) develops. Because the stomach is naturally acidic (acidic digestive enzymes break down food during digestion), this backflow irritates the lining of the esophagus and results in GERD.

Symptoms Of GERD

GERD symptoms include:

  • Burning sensation in the chest (heartburn)
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • A sore throat
  • Food regurgitation (acid reflux)

Treatment With Mediterranean Diet

Prescription treatments or over-the-counter medicines can be beneficial to treat the problem. Surgery may be necessary if neither of these treatments proves effective. Because untreated chronic GERD increases the risk of esophageal cancer and other significant consequences.

However, a lot of people with GERD also discover that specific foods and dietary practices will set off their acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. By following a healthy, balanced Mediterranean diet, people with GERD can frequently reduce their symptoms. Also, it improves their quality of life.

The Study

About 28% of adult populations in Western nations suffer from GERD. Obesity is a significant risk factor for GERD, and adult populations in Western nations are more affected by GERD as a result of rising obesity rates. However, just 12% of adults in Albania, where the majority of adults eat a Mediterranean-style diet, are affected by GERD. In 2012, researchers in Tirana, the Albanian capital, studied 817 men and women.

The participants were divided around 40% men and 60% by women, with an average age of 51. On smoking, drinking, physical activity, socioeconomic data (income, education), dietary practices, and whether or not the subjects had GERD symptoms in the previous year, got this information.

Participants were questioned about how frequently they consumed the four key components of the Albanian Mediterranean diet. This includes fruit and vegetables, olive oil, fish, and traditional recipes loaded with spices, garlic, and herbs.  In addition, individuals were given ratings on how frequently they consumed non-Mediterranean meals such as red meat, fried dishes, desserts, and junk or fast food.

Results Of The Study

The majority of participants—54.5%—ate a diet based primarily on foods from the Mediterranean, while just 45.5% did not. A 9% prevalence of GERD symptoms was seen across all participants. And those who did not follow the Mediterranean diet had a 3.1-fold increased risk of developing the condition. This indicates that the Mediterranean diet lowers the risk of GERD among people who follow this type of diet.

The Mediterranean diet is a nutritional model that reduces the risk of GERD symptoms, reduces obesity, and is part of a healthy lifestyle. This study offers more data to support this claim. The Mediterranean diet might be a better nutritional model to follow for people who are concerned about, experiencing, or have obesity-related or GERD symptoms.


People who followed the diet had a lower chance of developing GERD and were also generally slimmer. The Mediterranean diet and GERD may be related in a symbiotic way, according to this discovery. People who adhere to this eating plan are less likely to be overweight. This eliminates one of the main GERD risk factors—obesity.

It’s crucial to note that no single aspect of the Mediterranean diet had a discernible impact on the risk of GERD. This indicates that the balance of all food groups contained in the diet was advantageous rather than any one particular food group or food item.