Bile Acids Can Trigger Barrett’s Esophagus

February 2, 2015

This article is from Science Daily in 2012.  When it comes to Barrett’s esophagus, acid control may be less important than bile that is produced by the gallbladder.  They quote a study in the Annals of Surgery which shows that bile may leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus alsong with acid in patients with GERD.  This has previously been unrecognized in the development of Barrett’s.  PPI’s are one of the most popular and best-selling drugs.  They can mask GERD symptoms by neutralizing stomach acid, Peter’s research suggests they may not be the answer to Barrett’s esophagus.  Peters’ team found that bile that washes up from the stomach into the esophagus shuts off genes responsible for the normal, skin-like lining of the organ, and turns on genes that produce the intestine-like lining that is the hallmark of Barrett’s.  They discovered that acid, on the other hand, didn’t largely influence the change from one cell type to another.  THE MAIN LEAP THIS STUDY MAKES IS THAT NORMAL ESOPHAGEAL CELL GROWTH MUST BE TURNED OFF AND INTESTINAL CELL GROWTH MUST BE TURNED ON IN ORDER FOR THE DISEASE TO TAKE HOLD.  THEY FOUND THAT BILE PROMOTES BOTH PROCESSES.

The link to the article is below:

Bile-Not Acid-Is Bad Guy In Triggering Precancerous Condition Associated With Reflux Disease

God bless you and to your good health!

Joyce Gibb MS, CRNP
Ask The Pharmacist Group, LLC

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