A dietary approach is at least as effective as proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy for treating symptoms of laryngopharyngeal reflux, according to a retrospective chart review study in JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery.
Researchers identified two cohorts of patients diagnosed with laryngopharyngeal reflux at a New York hospital from 2010 to 2015 — 85 patients treated with PPIs plus standard reflux precautions, and 99 patients treated with alkaline water (pH >8.0) and a plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet plus standard reflux precautions.
After 6 weeks, 63% of the diet group and 54% of the PPI group had achieved a clinically meaningful improvement in a reflux symptom score. Additionally, the diet group had a significantly greater mean reduction in the score than did the PPI group (40% vs. 27% reduction).
A commentator says the findings “may help to alter the challenging treatment of patients with [laryngopharyngeal reflux] with a dietary approach if the findings are reproduced in future prospective studies.”
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