Is Coconut Water Good For Gerd?

In this blog, we will closely examine Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a common digestive disorder characterized by the reflux of stomach contents. We will also explore the potential health benefits of coconut water, including its possible effects on GERD. The discussion will focus on the causes, symptoms, and potential triggers of GERD, as well as coconut water's nutritional profile and medicinal applications.
Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a BSc Biomedical Science student at the University of Westminster, London.

What is Gerd?

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a common disorder in which reflux of stomach contents causes bothersome symptoms and/or complications. Reflux occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle at the bottom end of your oesophagus, doesn’t close properly so that the stomach contents leak, or reflux, back into the oesophagus and into the tube leading to the throat [1, 2].

The typical symptoms of GERD are heartburn – a burning sensation in the chest – and regurgitation of gastric content into the oropharynx (throat). A dry cough, asthma symptoms or difficulty swallowing are less common. When symptoms appear more than twice a week, GERD might be the cause [2, 3].

Causes of Gerd

The main underlying cause of GERD is a weak lower oesophagal sphincter (LES) that allows the reflux of contents from the stomach into the oesophagus [4].

A few factors that weaken your lower oesophageal sphincter and lead to GERD are:

  • eating too much food,
  • being overweight,
  • being pregnant,
  • smoking or being around secondhand smoke regularly,
  • and having a hiatus hernia, which means that part of your stomach protrudes into the muscle of your diaphragm [4].

Certain foods and beverages can trigger GERD. Some more common food triggers include fried or fatty foods, citrus, chocolate, coffee, carbonated beverages, and drinks containing alcohol [4].

Even selected medications cause GERD, such as alpha-blockers, anti-inflammatories, or sedatives, as well as nitrates. If you take medication and have GERD symptoms, discuss it with your doctor of pharmacist [4].

Other factors that might lead to the development of GERD include obesity, hiatal hernia, sluggish gastric emptying and lifestyle factors such as poor dietary habits, stress and anxiety [5, 6].

Benefits of Coconut Water on Health

Coconut water is a natural product with many health benefits. It contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytohormones which are believed to cover possible medicinal applications [7].

Hydration is one of the most popular reasons to drink coconut water: it helps the body to stay hydrated since coconut water contains significant levels of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which help cells and organ function and allows the body to perform many of its normal tasks [8]. Staying hydrated has many beneficial effects on health in general. Quite specifically, it can help skin health, meaning less wrinkles, increased hydration and plumpness of the skin, as well as skin appearing firmer and radiant [8].

Its medicinal use for blood health is further indicated by a rat model where coconut water increased both haemoglobin and erythrocyte levels of anaemic rats, providing some therapeutic benefits to anaemic patients [9].

In relation, several studies have demonstrated the effect of coconut water in improving metabolic health. In one such study, coconut water was found to accelerate glucose uptake while enhancing both antioxidative and purinergic activities. Again, this made a strong case for coconut water having the potential to arrest postprandial hyperglycaemia [10].

It also antibacterial, which could help fight acne when applied to the skin [8]; and it has high concentrations of vitamin C, which is a cofactor in collagen synthesis, helping your skin stay elastic and slowing skin ageing [8].

Lastly, some evidence suggests that coconut water can help offset metabolic syndrome, a constellation of conditions that puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease. When rats with metabolic syndrome were given green coconut water to drink, blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and insulin levels were improved [11].

Is Coconut Water good for Gerd?

Owing to its supposed hydrating effect and its richness in several important electrolytes (potassium, sodium and magnesium) [12], coconut water has been hailed as being beneficial for health. Whether it actually improves the management of GERD is far from clear.

Some of the pregnant women reported that coconut water relieved their GERD symptoms of reflux [12], although no conclusive evidence existed for such a purported beneficial effect. While coconut water contains nothing known to harm those with GERD, there was no conclusive evidence to prove that it is a remedy specific to GERD.

Consumption of coconut water has been observed to have anti-inflammatory effects and alter the ecosystem and composition of the gut microbiome. This health benefit is speculative but theoretically could be useful in modulating digestive health [13]. None of these studies were conducted with GERD specifically in mind, and it remains to be seen what the specific effects might be for that condition.

In summary, though coconut water is a healthy beverage that can be part of an inclusive hydration regimen and electrolyte replacement, its purported benefits and evidence for treating GERD have not been established. GERD patients should consult with their physicians for individualized treatment options.

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Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a 2nd-year student currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster in London. Currently, in her second year of undergraduate studies, she exhibits a keen interest in the dynamic field of healthcare. With a focus on understanding the intricacies of human biology and disease mechanisms, Greta is driven by a desire to contribute to advancements in medical research and patient care.