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CL Answer

Which supplements, foods or diet and lifestyle changes help relieve acid reflux (heartburn), and which worsen it?

Find out which supplements and foods can help relieve acid reflux, and which can make it worse.

Supplements Making Acid Reflux Worse -- Man with acid reflux pain

CL Answer

I take omeprazole (Prilosec), a proton pump inhibitor, to reduce stomach acid. Are there supplements I should avoid, or be taking, due to this drug?

Supplement interactions with proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs like omeprazole (Prilosec) and Nexium.

Clinical Update


Peppermint For Acid Reflux?

Does peppermint oil improve or worsen acid reflux? Find out in our updated answer about Supplements and Acid Reflux.

Clinical Update


Low-Carb Diet for Heartburn?

Does a low-carbohydrate or a ketogenic diet reduce symptoms of acid reflux? Find out what research suggests in our updated CL Answer about food, supplements, and acid reflux.

Also, find out if zinc carnosine and the supplement Acid Soothe help improve symptoms of acid reflux.

Clinical Update


TUDCA for Acid Reflux?

A CL Member with acid reflux reported symptom relief with TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) supplementation, but does clinical evidence support this use? Find out in our updated CL Answer about TUDCA.

Also, see our CL Answer about supplements that may improve or worsen acid reflux.

CL Answer

Is drinking coffee good or bad for heart health?

Learn more about coffee and caffeine, its safety, if it's good for you, how much coffee is too much and its impact on your heart.

Product Review

Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplements Review

Choose the Best Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplement. Some Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplements Cost 13 Times As Much As Others -- But Is It Worth Paying More?

Alpha-Lipoic Acid Supplements Reviewed by

CL Answer

What are the health benefits of zinc carnosine, also called polaprezinc, and is it safe?

Find out if zinc carnosine is beneficial for any GI conditions, including stomach ulcers, Helicobacter pylori infection, taste disturbances, aspirin-induced small-bowel injury and oral mucositis, and learn if it is safe.

Zinc carnosine supplements in wooden spoon in front of oysters

Clinical Update


Aloe or Probiotics for Heartburn?

Can aloe or probiotics help reduce symptoms of acid reflux? Find out approaches to acid reflux.

CL Answer

PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances): How can I avoid PFAS in dental floss, food, water, and other products?

Some brands of dental floss, including Oral-B Glide, may contain potentially toxic chemicals known as PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances), according to one study. Get the details in ConsumerLab's answer.

Toxic PFAS Chemicals in Dental Floss -- Woman Looking at Dental Floss

CL Answer

Is it true that low-carb or Mediterranean diets help for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

Find out if a low-carb diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, or lifestyle changes help with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Low-carb & Mediterranean Diets for GERD? -- Table with Mediterranean foods such as fish, olive oil, walnuts, vegetables

Clinical Update


Heartburn – What Helps and What Hurts?

Find out which supplements or foods help relieve acid reflux (heartburn) and which worsen it.

CL Answer

What is TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid)? Does it have any proven health benefits, and is it safe?

TUDCA information, including its potential health benefits, safety, possible interactions, and cost.

What is Tudca - white capsules poured out of container

CL Answer

Is Ester-C the best form of vitamin C?

Info on Ester-C Vitamin C, including which form of vitamin C is best, fully-reduced, liposomal and others based on absorption and side effects.'s answer explains.

Is Ester-C the Best Form of Vitamin C? -- bottle of Ester-C

Product Review

Alginate Supplements Review (For Reflux)

See Our Top Pick Alginate Supplements For Reducing Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)

Alginate supplements reviewed by

CL Answer

I have IBS and don't want to take medication if I can help it. I've heard that peppermint works for IBS, but is there good research to support this?

Information about using peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including clinical evidence, dosage, safety and more.

Peppermint Oil for IBS? -- Bottle of peppermint oil and capsules and peppermint leaf

Clinical Update


Alpha Lipoic Acid and Reflux

A CL member reported experiencing acid reflux when using alpha lipoic acid. This effect has been reported in clinical studies with higher doses -- which is not surprising consider that alpha lipoic acid is, after all, an acid. Ways to avoid this issue are discussed in the Concerns and Cautions section of the Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for alpha lipoic acid.

Clinical Update


What Helps or Worsens Reflux?

Find out if the following improve, or worsen, symptoms of acid reflux:

CL Answer

Are enteric coated supplements better than non-enteric coated ones?

Learn about the pros and cons of enterically coated supplements, including ingredient absorption,safety and price.

Glass of Water and White Pill

CL Answer

Do hair loss supplements, such as Viviscal, Hair La Vie, and Nutrafol, or topical essential oils work?

Vitamins and supplements that may help with hair loss and thinning, including saw palmetto, beta-sitosterol, protein, iron, and vitamin D.

Supplements for Hair Loss -- woman looking at hairbrush

CL Answer

Is there evidence that d-limonene can help fight cancer?

Find out if d-limonene can help fight cancer or help for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder), including evidence from clinical studies.

Lemon with Peel Coming Off

CL Answer

Do any supplements, like Nervive, help with nerve pain, like sciatica or diabetic neuropathy?

Find out which supplements for nerve pain are effective. Sciatica & diabetic neuropathy may be helped, including fish oil and alpha-lipoic acid.

CL Answer

How do I choose the best CoQ10 supplement?

Looking to choose the best CoQ10 brand supplement? Understand which CoQ10 you are buying, differences in dose, absorption, quality and more. ConsumerLab explores this topic.


CL Answer

7 Supplements That May Help Treat Peptic Ulcers – And Some to Avoid

Peptic ulcers caused by H. pylori infection are typically treated with antibiotics, but certain supplements may also help. Find out which 7 supplements might be beneficial - and which should be avoided.

Supplements for peptic ulcer disease - young man with stomachache

CL Answer

Can melatonin help with stomach pain?

Find out if melatonin supplements can help with stomach pain, ulcers, reflux and dyspepsia, or if it can cause stomach upset.

Melatonin and Stomach Pain -- women with stomach pain

Recalls & Warnings


Seller of Dr. Miller’s Herbal “Detox” Teas Warned by FDA for Drug Claims

On February 3, 2023, the FDA issued a warning letter to Jackson Health & Wellness Clinic after inspection of the company’s website found statements about the company’s Dr. Miller’s Holy Tea, Dr. Miller’s Super Holy Tea, Dr. Miller’s Ultimate Tea, Dr.

CL Answer

What are the health benefits of black cumin seed (black seed) oil?

Find out if black seed oil has health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure or cholesterol, asthma, weight loss, and others. Dosage, forms, including black seed oil and black seed powder, safety information, using black seed oil in foods and more.'s answer explains.

Black seed oil benefits -- bowl of black cumin seeds and bottle of oil

Product Review

Apple Cider Vinegar Review – Bottled Liquids and Supplements

Find the Best Apple Cider Vinegar. See Which Apple Cider Vinegar Liquids and Supplements Passed Our Tests of Quality.

Apple Cider Vinegar Supplements Reviewed by

Product Review

Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils Review

Oils Tested for Authenticity and Purity

Product Review

Aloe Juices, Gels, and Supplements Review

How Much Aloe is Really in Aloe Products? Find Out and See Our Top Picks.

CL Answer

6 Tips to Avoid Getting a Pill Stuck in Your Throat

Some pills can be difficult to swallow and can even become lodged in the throat or cause damage to the esophagus. Learn six practical tips to help avoid getting pills stuck in the throat.

Pill Getting Stuck in Throat

CL Answer

Which ingredients should toothpastes and other dental products contain, and which should be avoided?

Learn about ingredients you want in your toothpaste, mouthwash and other dental products and which ingredients you may want to avoid.

Toothpaste in the shape of question mark coming out from toothpaste tube

Product Review

Valerian Supplements Review

Choose the Best Valerian Supplement. Strength and Contamination Vary Widely Among Popular Valerian Brands.

Valerian Supplements Reviewed by

Recalls & Warnings


FTC Sends Refund Checks for TrueAloe and AloeCran

On May 26, 2020, the FTC announced it is mailing 22,581 checks totaling more than $470,000 to consumers who purchased deceptively marketed supplements, TrueAloe and AloeCran.

Clinical Update


Reflux Supplement Interactions

Alginate supplements can help reduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD – a common cause of heartburn), but they may also reduce the absorption of medications, as well as vitamins, and minerals. Learn how to avoid this in the Concerns and Cautions section our Alginate Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among alginate supplements.

CL Answer

I've heard that grapefruit juice can interact with medications because it inhibits an enzyme that breaks down drugs in the body. Do any supplements interact the same way with drugs?

CYP3A4 inhibitors, such as grapefruit, can interact with certain medications by inhibiting the liver enzyme that metabolizes many drugs.'s answer explains.

Grapefruit Juice, CYP3A4 and Supplement Interactions -- glass of grapefruit juice and grapefruit halves

CL Answer

What is Metafolin (5-methylfolate)? I see it in some supplements instead of folic acid. Is it better than folic acid?

Metafolin and Quatrefolic information - compare to folate and folic acid.


CL Answer

Can I just stop taking alpha lipoic acid, or do I need to taper down?

Learn the best way to stop taking alpha lipoic acid supplements.

Structure of Alpha Lipoic Acid

CL Answer

Must I take amino acid supplements on an empty stomach? Can I take them with other amino acids or with food to help with swallowing capsules?

Find out if you should take amino acid pills on an empty stomach or with food in order to maximize absorption, and more about the best way to take amino acid supplements.

Amino Acids

CL Answer

Does D-aspartic acid boost testosterone levels?

Find out if D-aspartic acid (aspartic acid) raises testosterone levels, increases libido or muscle mass.

D-aspartic Acid for Boosting Testosterone? -- Man scooping D-aspartic acid powder from supplement container

Recalls & Warnings


Seller of Holistic Tea Warned by FDA

On February 17, 2022, the FDA issued a warning letter to Vital Health & Wellness following an inspection of the company’s website, which found statements made about the company’s product, Dr. Miller’s Holistic Premium Holy Tea, to be drug claims.

CL Answer

I read that famotidine (Pepcid) may help treat COVID-19. Is this true? Might a proton pump inhibitor, like Prilosec, help?

Pepcid (famotidine) was reported to improve outcomes in people with COVID-19 in China. But is there evidence that Pepcid really helps to treat COVID-19?

Can Pepcic (famotidine) Treat COVID-19? -- Box of Pepcid and Handout About COVID-19

CL Answer

Is hyaluronic acid helpful for osteoarthritis?

Hyaluronic acid supplement information including joint pain, osteoarthritis, clinical evidence, dosage and more.

Man Holding Knee from Knee Pain

CL Answer

The maker of my multivitamin says it doesn't include folic acid because too much from supplements can be harmful. Is that true?

Learn more about the harmful effects from too much folic acid, including increased risk of prostate cancer and kidney damage.

Harm from Too Much Folic Acid ? -- Multivitamin bottle and label

CL Answer

Can prenatal vitamins have too much folic acid? Mine has 800 mcg, but isn't that more than what's recommended? Is this dangerous to me or my baby?

Is it possible for prenatal vitamins to have too much folic acid? Find out the correct dosage so that it is not dangerous to babies.

Too Much Folic Acid in Prenatal Vitamins? -- Pregnant woman taking supplements

CL Answer

Is DPA an important omega-3 fatty acid? It's been promoted as more "powerful" than EPA and DHA.

Find out more about DPA (docosapentaenoic acid), the third most prevalent omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil. Learn how much DPA is in supplements and fish, plus the clinical evidence for DPA, whether it can improve heart health, lower triglycerides and more.'s answer explains.

Is DPA an important omega-3 fatty acid? -- Fish Oil Supplements

CL Answer

I heard the S-form of alpha-lipoic acid is bad for me. Why is it in my supplement?

Learn more about R-form alpha-lipoic acid and S-form alpha-lipoic acid and their activity, as described by experts at

Chemical Structure of Alpha Lipoic Acid on Pink Background

CL Answer

Should I be concerned about phytic acid in oat cereals? I've heard that it can be harmful, but also that it can have health benefits.

Get information on phytic acid levels found in oats and oat cereals.

Phytic Acid in Oat Cereal -- bowl of oatmeal

CL Answer

What are omega-7 fatty acids? Do I need to take these if I already take fish oil?

Learn what omega-7 fatty acids are and if you need to also take them while taking fish oil. See the varying amounts of omega-7 fatty acids in fish and krill oil supplements.

Fish Oil

CL Answer

Are supplements with amino acid chelated minerals better than those with other forms of minerals?

Learn more about chelates, including evidence from clinical studies on selenium, iron, and magnesium.

Woman Examining Supplements

CL Answer

I'm a vegan but my doctor wants me to take fish oil with EPA and DHA. Is there something I can take that would be as good as fish oil capsules but would satisfy the needs of a vegan?

Find out which vegan-friendly fatty acid supplements contain EPA and DHA and how they compare to fish oil.

Vegan Friendly EPA and DHA Supplements -- Fish Oil Pills

Recalls & Warnings


Seller of TrueAloe and AloeCran Settles Charges of Making False Claims

NatureCity, LLC, has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that they deceived consumers by making false claims about their TrueAloe and AloeCran products.

News Release


Considering an Algae-based Supplement for Reflux? See What ConsumerLab Found

White Plains, New York, February 22, 2022 — Alginate supplements have been shown to be more effective than antacids in treating heartburn, indigestion, and other symptoms of GERD (gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease).

Recalls & Warnings


Warning to D-Limonene, Vitamin C Seller

On January 31, 2018 the FDA issued a warning letter to Long Life Unlimited, LLC following a review of the company's website which found promotional statements and testimonials made about products including Balance 600, D-Limonene, Rapha Remedy, Rapha Remedy w/ p73 Wild Oregano, Vitamin C, ...

Clinical Update


Alpha Lipoic Acid for Pain?

Can taking alpha-lipoic acid decrease nerve, muscle or joint pain? See what a new study found in the What It Does section of our Alpha Lipoic Acid Review. Also see our Top Picks for alpha-lipoic acid.

Clinical Update


Does folic acid affect the risk of colon cancer?

Supplementation with higher amounts of folic acid (vitamin B-9) has been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer, but its effect on the risk of colon cancer has been unclear. A new study found no increase in colon cancer due to folic acid supplementation. But if you supplement with folic acid, be careful. See the B Vitamin Supplements Review for more >>

Clinical Update


Amino Acids Speed Recovery From Knee Surgery

A study of men and women receiving knee replacement surgery showed that taking essential amino acids (including branched-chain amino acids) twice daily before and after surgery reduced muscle loss and speeded recovery. For details, including dosage, plus our reviews of amino acid supplements, see the updated Muscle Enhancers Review >> 

Clinical Update


Help for Acne from Omega-3 & -6 Oils

A small clinical study found daily supplementation with either omega-3 fatty acids or an omega-6 fatty acid from borage oil significantly reduced the number and severity of acne outbreaks. Get the details, including dosage, and our tests of supplements containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, in the Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review >> and the Flaxseed Oil, Evening Primrose, Borage and Seed Oil Supplements Review >> 

Clinical Update


Alpha Lipoic Acid Improves Results When Dieting

Women who took alpha lipoic acid while dieting lost significantly more weight and body fat than those who only reduced their calorie intake, according to a new study. For the dose, how it was taken, plus our tests of popular alpha lipoic acid products, see the Alpha Lipoic Acid Review >>

Clinical Update


Folic Acid, Multis & Autism Risk

The use of a folic acid or multivitamin supplement during pregnancy was associated a reduced risk of autism spectrum disorder in children according to a recently published study. Be aware, however, that high-dose folic acid during pregnancy may have negative effects. For details, see the Folic Acid section of the B Vitamins Review.

Clinical Update


High Blood Pressure Risk With Too Much Folic Acid During Pregnancy

While it is important to take folate during pregnancy, a new study suggests that too much folic acid from supplements increases the risk of high blood pressure in mothers. See the details in the Folic Acid section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review.

Also see our Top Pick among prenatal vitamins, which provides adequate (but not too much) folic acid, in our Multivitamin and Multiminerals Supplements Review.

Clinical Update


Folic Acid and Colon Cancer

Several studies have evaluated whether folate from food and/or folic acid from supplements affect cancer risk. Find out what a recent report suggests about long-term, high-dose folic acid supplementation in the Folate section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for folic acid and other B vitamin supplements.

Clinical Update


Can Alpha-Lipoic Acid Lower Weight?

Alpha-lipoic acid was given to overweight men and women for 24 weeks in a recent study. Find out if it lowered weight and triglyceride levels in the What It Does section of the Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for alpha-lipoic acid.

Recalls & Warnings


Real Water Alkaline Water Recalled for Possible Link to Liver Illness

On March 24, 2021, Real Water, Inc. recalled all sizes of Real Water bottled alkaline water because it may be linked to multiple cases of non-viral hepatitis that occurred in Las Vegas, NV in November of 2020.

Recalls & Warnings


Don't Drink Real Water Alkaline Water, FDA Warns After Reports of Liver Illness

On March 16, 2021, the FDA warned consumers not to drink or use Real Water bottled alkaline water while it investigates reports of hepatitis associated with the product.

News Release


Which Brands of Alpha Lipoic Acid are Best? -- Tests Lipoic Acid Supplements for Quality, Identifying Top Picks

White Plains, New York, December 6, 2016 — Alpha-lipoic acid supplements may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, reduce symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and enhance weight loss when dieting.

News Release


Flaxseed and Other Popular Seed Oil Supplements Tested by, But Not All Brands Pass -- Flaxseed, Black Currant, Borage and Evening Primrose Oils Reviewed

White Plains, New York, May 7, 2014 — Plant seed oils are popular supplements that provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but which products offer the best value and quality? Recent analyses by ConsumerLab.

News Release


Spoilage and labeling errors found with some omega-3 and -6 supplements; Review of evening primrose, flaxseed, borage, and black currant oil supplements

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — JANUARY 10, 2011 — A new report on the quality of omega-3 and -6 fatty acid supplements made from seed oils was released by today. Only 11 of 17 products selected for testing met quality criteria for freshness and labeling.

News Release

10/07/2009 finds that only two-thirds of alpha-lipoic acid supplements selected for testing pass quality review -- Anti-oxidant supplements helpful to diabetics

White Plains, New York — Wednesday, October 7, — Alpha-lipoic acid (also called lipoic acid) is a natural anti-oxidant that can help diabetics reduce symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and control blood sugar, among other uses. ConsumerLab.

News Release

12/10/2007 finds improvement in quality of omega-3 and -6 supplements — Results for 22 products made from evening primrose, flaxseed, borage and black currant oils

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — DECEMBER 10, 2007 — A new report on the quality of omega-3 and -6 fatty acid supplements made from seed oils was released by today. Two products were slightly low in one fatty acid, but this is an improvement over results from ConsumerLab.

News Release


Tests of B-vitamins by finds several short on folic acid — New report covers B-complexes, thiamin, niacin, B-6, B-12, biotin and folic acid supplements

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — SEPTEMBER 10, 2007 — Half of the B-complex supplements recently selected by for testing were found to lack the total claimed amounts of folic acid, an essential nutrient also known as vitamin B-9.

News Release

7/12/2005 finds some supplements lower in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than claimed — Report available for 23 products made from oils of black currant, borage, evening primrose and flax

WHITE PLAINS, NY — July 12, 2005 — has released its latest report on the quality of supplements made from the seed oils of black currant, borage, evening primrose, and flax.

Recalls & Warnings


FTC Charges Marketers of Two Supplements with False Claims to Cure Range of Diseases

On June 3, 2004 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged marketers of two dietary supplements with falsely claiming that their products can prevent and cure cancer and other diseases. According to the FTC’s complaint, Boston-area marketers Direct Marketing Concepts, Inc. (DMC), ITV Direct, Inc.