Top Three Supplements to Help With Heartburn

By Nutritional Weight & Wellness Staff
January 25, 2024

heartburn.jpgHeartburn, a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), affects a significant portion of the U.S. population. According to data from the American Gastroenterological Association, about one-third of the U.S. population has GERD.

This means that one out of every five people in the U.S. experiences heartburn or acid regurgitation on a weekly basis, and two out of five people experience these symptoms at least once a month. Additionally, a study conducted by Cedars-Sinai found that nearly a third of U.S. adults might experience acid reflux each week.

What is Heartburn & What Causes It?

Heartburn is one of the primary symptoms of acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) which is a more severe case of acid reflux. A painful or burning sensation radiates up from the belly to the chest and throat, typically happening at night, especially after eating large meals, certain foods, or when lying down.

Other GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) symptoms:

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) presents a variety of symptoms beyond the common issue of heartburn. One such symptom is hoarseness, resulting from stomach acid irritating the vocal cords. A person might also experience the sensation of food being stuck in the esophagus, a distressing feeling often described as a 'lump in the throat.' Additionally, GERD can lead to respiratory symptoms like wheezing, a byproduct of acid irritating the airways, and can even exacerbate or mimic asthma. Another less obvious but significant symptom is bad breath or halitosis, caused by the presence of stomach acid in the mouth and throat.

Foods for heartburn:

At Nutritional Weight & Wellness, our primary focus is on providing the body with whole, nourishing foods and essential nutrients that reduce overall inflammation and promote optimal gut health. This involves incorporating a balanced mix of animal protein, healthy fats, and real-food carbohydrates into every meal and snack.

This also includes removing most ultra-processed foods and common inflammatory agents like added sugar, refined oils, alcohol, and gluten.

While there are certain supplements that can be helpful to find relief from heartburn, ensuring your diet is well-rounded and nutritious is a crucial step that can't be overlooked.

What foods make heartburn worse?

It's a common belief that spicy foods, tomatoes, chocolate, fried foods, and coffee are major contributors to reflux symptoms. However, it's often overlooked that the more likely triggers include everyday foods such as chips and soda, pizza and beer, candy bars and cookies, pasta with bread, and cereal with milk. These foods share a common denominator: they are high in sugar and/or flour.

In reality, the foods that tend to worsen heartburn are those containing sugar (both added sugars and processed carbohydrates that convert into sugar in the body), bread (another form of processed carbohydrate that becomes sugar), and dairy products. The processed carbohydrates in breads, crackers etc. can be triggering but for some individuals it is specifically the gluten that triggers reflux. Interestingly, processed corn can also be a trigger for some individuals.

Pay close attention to your diet to identify which foods trigger your heartburn. Consider whether it's the alcohol you consume or perhaps the one pizza, which contains both gluten and dairy – two ingredients widely recognized as significant heartburn provocateurs. Monitoring your reactions to different foods and beverages can provide valuable insights, helping you determine if it's specific items like alcohol or gluten and dairy-rich foods such as pizza that are causing your discomfort. This awareness can have a significant effect for managing and potentially alleviating your heartburn and other symptoms.

"Often, the key issue causing inflammation and irritation in the digestive system is not necessarily tomatoes or chocolate themselves, but rather the inflammatory foods people consume. In my experience, these are the primary culprits. When individuals eliminate these inflammatory foods, which sometimes include gluten and dairy, they often find that they can enjoy dark chocolate and tomatoes without any problems." Britni Vincent RD, LD

What foods can help reduce symptoms?

Replacing processed carbs with vegetables:

We recommend replacing those processed carbs with vegetables, especially ones that are easier for your body to digest like root vegetables, spinach and cooked broccoli.

Keep in mind that cooking methods can influence how likely a food is to cause problems. Generally, foods that are baked, grilled, or steamed are less likely to trigger heartburn compared to those that are fried or foods with a lot of refined oils (soybean, cottonseed, canola, vegetable and corn oil). Cooking in healthy fats, such as sautéed in butter or coconut oil or roasted in olive oil or ghee, makes food tasty and even easier for the body to digest.

What about heartburn medication?

Heartburn medications like Tagamet®, Pepcid® and Zantac® neutralize stomach acid that is already there. Other medications used to treat heartburn are Prevacid®, Protonix®, Prilosec®, Nexium® and Aciphex® which block the stomach's production of acid. 

While these medications may give you some temporary relief from the pain of heartburn symptoms, the problem with this approach is that your digestive tract needs stomach acid to stay healthy and to digest food. Having an acidic environment in your stomach is one of your first lines of defense against pathogens like harmful bacteria or viruses. You also need that acid to absorb important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

For many individuals low stomach acid is actually one of the contributing factors for reflux. The lower esophageal sphincter (which is a ring of muscles between your stomach and esophagus) is supposed to stay closed except when you’re swallowing. This prevents acid from your stomach going up into your esophagus.

When the stomach isn’t acidic enough the lower esophageal sphincter remains partially opened allowing acid to come up. Also, when you don’t have enough stomach acid you aren’t breaking down your food properly which allows larger food particles in your stomach and intestinal tract which can ferment and create growth of more bad bacteria. This can also contribute to reflux.

Our Top Recommended Supplements for Heartburn

We have had many clients that have had heartburn for years be able to get rid of all of their symptoms just through eating real food and the addition of healing supplements.  You may find that you can enjoy your favorite foods again, without pain, after giving your gut the help it needs and, sometimes, with the extra help of one of the following supplements.

Heartburn Supplement #1: Dophilus Powder 

Dophilus Powder (counter) (square).jpgThe probiotic acidophilus is within Dophilus Powder and helps keep the lining of the stomach healthy so it doesn't get as easily irritated. It actually helps produce a little more acid (most people have low stomach acid not high, a common misconception) to aid with digestion and give your stomach enough acid to do it's job properly.

What Dophilus Powder is:

This pure strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus works in targeted areas of the body, specifically to line the stomach, bladder and vaginal tract.

Who should use Dophilus Powder:

Anyone who struggles with acid reflux, urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, frequent colds and flu, bloating, diarrhea or constipation will find that their body will benefit.

How to take Dophilus Powder:

If using Dophilus Powder, dosage is ½ tsp mixed in water before bed. It can also be taken during the day, if needed. 

For those who prefer capsules, we have an option called Acidophilus. Most clients get heartburn relief taking 2 capsules before bed, although some may need to take 3-4 capsules. Like the Dophilus Powder, additional capsules can be taken during the day if someone is experiencing daytime reflux. Acidophilus can be taken long-term.

If you’re really struggling with any of these acid reflux symptoms we recommend the powder over the capsules or for extreme symptoms of acid reflux take one to two capsules before eating meals.

“My husband suffers with acid reflux. He started taking this a few weeks ago and has not had 1 episode since! We are so impressed with the result he's had taking Acidophilus. It's truly amazing!” – Debra M.

Heartburn Supplement #2: Bifido Balance 

Bifido Balance (counter) (square).jpgFor heartburn and overall digestive health, our nutritionists recommend Bifido Balance, which is comprised of a probiotic called Bifido bacteria which helps the small intestinal tract break down and digest foods better; which also means your body will get more nutrients out of your food.

What is Bifido Balance:

A blend of bifidobacteria, the most prevalent good bacteria in your digestive tract, making up (ideally) about 70% of your gut bacteria. That’s why we tend to start people here for combating digestive issues.

Who should use Bifido Balance:

We recommend it as a great place to start if you’re new to probiotics or have a very sensitive digestive system.

Also, anyone struggling with sugar or carb cravings, will find it works amazingly well for eliminating those cravings, especially when paired with L-Glutamine.

How to take Bifido Balance:

We recommend a range of 1-3 capsules 10-15 minutes before each meal, although most people need at least 2 capsules a 10-15 minutes before every meal. If you have a sensitive digestion or worried about reactions, start with one capsule per day at one meal per day.

Bifido Powder dosage is ½ tsp before each meal. Aim for 10-15 minutes before each meal, but it’s more important to just get it in than to worry about perfect timing.

Some people notice a difference within just a few days of starting it, while others notice they feel better within a few weeks.

“ I used to have really bad heartburn and my doctor kept prescribing Prilosec. It was just treating the symptom, not fixing the underlying problem. I decided to try Bifido Balance, only 1 pill a day. And wouldn’t you know it, no heartburn! Sometimes I even skip a day. I’m telling you, this probiotic really worked to eliminate my constant heartburn. It won’t hurt you to give it a try.” -J.G.

Heartburn Supplement #3: Key Digestive Enzymes 

Key Enzymes (counter) (square).jpgMany individuals suffering from heartburn may not realize that their discomfort could stem from insufficient stomach acidity. A practical solution is to supplement with digestive enzymes, particularly those containing betaine hydrochloric acid. This specific component is crucial as it plays a pivotal role in enhancing your digestive tract's ability to process food more effectively. By doing so, it not only aids in digestion but also addresses the common issue of having inadequate stomach acids. This can lead to a significant reduction in heartburn symptoms and promote a healthier digestive process.

What is Key Digestive Enzymes?

NutriKey’s Key Digestive Enzymes is a nutritional supplement to help support healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients. Enzymes help break down proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in the digestive system. Each nutrient category requires its own specific enzyme to break down and properly digest so a broad-spectrum supplement is preferred for optimal healthy digestion.

Who should use Key Digestive Enzymes?

This is an ideal supplement for anyone looking to enhance their digestive health, particularly those who experience digestive discomfort, such as bloating, gas, or indigestion. It is especially beneficial for individuals with reduced natural enzyme production, which is common as we age.

How to take Key Digestive Enzymes?

For optimal results, we recommend taking 1-2 capsules just before each meal. This timing is crucial as it allows the digestive enzyme to mix with food in the stomach, enhancing the digestion process right from the start. It's important to adhere to this suggested use to maximize the benefits of the enzymes, ensuring they work effectively to break down food and aid in nutrient absorption.

Bonus Suggestion: L-Glutamine Powder 

L-Glutamine Powder (counter) (square).jpgSupport the healing of the intestinal lining with L Glutamine Powder. Glutamine is also an important amino acid for repairing and healing damaged tissues. So if someone has struggled with heartburn or GERD for a long time and has damage to the lining of the esophagus and stomach, glutamine can be helpful to heal that damage.

How to take l glutamine for acid reflux:

L-Glutamine comes in two forms: glutamine capsules or glutamine powder. Our nutritionists recommend taking two l glutamine capsules or ¼ to ½ tsp. glutamine powder (1/2 scoop if using the NutriKey L-glutamine powder) in water.

When to take l glutamine:

Ideally, it is best to take glutamine about 10-15 minutes before a meal, on an empty stomach and I typically recommend taking l glutamine 2-3 times per day (so before 2-3 meals per day).

However, it's more beneficial to ensure you take your glutamine supplement than to skip it, so strive to adhere to these guidelines as closely as possible, but prioritize consistent intake above perfect adherence. If you remember thirty minutes before your meal...that's better than missing it altogether.

Should you take glutamine on an empty or full stomach?

For helping with heartburn, taking glutamine, an amino acid, alongside a meal may offer more benefits than taking on an empty belly.

Taking glutamine with food can be gentler on your digestion. For individuals with sensitive digestion or those prone to heartburn, consuming any supplement on an empty belly can sometimes cause discomfort or exacerbate symptoms.

Consuming glutamine with a meal might enhance its potential beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Food can act as a buffer and may assist in the gradual absorption of glutamine, which could be more effective for some individuals in managing heartburn.

Taking supplements on an empty belly can increase the risk of acid reflux for some people. Since glutamine is being used here to help with heartburn, it's logical to reduce any potential triggers of acid reflux.

How long should I take l glutamine?:

The length of time to stay on L glutamine depends on the person. For most people at least 4 months of daily glutamine use is beneficial while for others, it could be 12 months of glutamine. You can also use your symptoms as a guide to determine whether you should continue taking glutamine.

Some people find relief from heartburn pain right away when taking glutamine, but notice a difference when they stop taking glutamine so they add glutamine back in. You can discuss your specific needs with a nutritionist or dietitian who will help you find what glutamine amount you need for maintenance.

“L glutamine has helped to heal my intestines after years of periodic antibiotics. Along with Nutrikey’s bifido probiotics, glutamine is part of a dynamic duo. A terrific value and speedy shipping too.”-Susan V. 

Additional resources:

If you're looking for more information on gerd, reflux, and heartburn relief, check out these additional articles, podcast episodes, and online classes.


  • Bread, Sugar, & Heartburn: Get relief from acid reflux now: 10% of Americans have an episode of heartburn every day. Overall, acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) affects up to 35% of the population. As a result, acid-blocking medications are the third top-selling type of drug in America today. If you have irritating and uncomfortable bouts of heartburn read on for ideas on how to resolve it!

Podcast Episodes:

  • Heartburn Again: Do you struggle with heartburn, indigestion, stomach pain or acid reflux? Join our nutritionists as they discuss the surprising connection between acid reflux and lack of stomach acid. Listen in to learn the many foods that can be triggers for these intense reflux symptoms and which could help prevent them.

  • Heartburn Prevention Plan: At least 1/3 of people taking heartburn medications still have a burning sensation in their throat and chest, so if this is you, you’re not alone. In this show, we’ll cover what is happening when you have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), the digestive disorder that causes heartburn along with other uncomfortable gerd symptoms.

  • Holiday Heartburn: Nutritionists often hear, “my heartburn is out of control,” especially around the holidays. This podcast shares some simple solutions to avoid getting heartburn not only for the holiday season but for all year long.

  • Is your Heartburn Back?: Have you been finding yourself reaching for the Tums or the Prilosec more often lately? Are you starting to feel those familiar, dreaded sensations again: the burning or aches in your chest or throat, the sour or acidic taste in your mouth? Do you think twice about laying down on the couch or trying to go to bed early because you’re just not sure how your stomach and throat are going to feel? In this show, our dietitians will be putting on their detective hats to help you figure out why your heartburn may be back and give you some options for finding relief.

Professional help for reflux/heartburn relief.

We would highly recommend working individually with a nutritionist from Nutritional Weight and Wellness to help identify any food sensitivity or other diet factor that may be causing your acid reflux symptoms. It will also be important to work with your physician to help you wean off your acid reflux/heartburn medication.  Learn More

Ready to learn more? Take a class!

Gut Reaction: Restore Digestive Health through Nutrition

Do you suffer from heartburn, gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea? Or do you have an autoimmune disorder or depression? Do you struggle with sugar or bread cravings? These are all indications of digestive problems.

This affordable online class can help you restore gut health through nutrition.

Learn More

About the author

This blog content was written by a staff member at Nutritional Weight & Wellness who is passionate about eating real food.

View all posts by Nutritional Weight & Wellness Staff


I have had full gastric bypass and no gallbladder I have been on Omeprazole for many years what would be a more natural solution
November 30, 2017 at 10:23 pm


We would highly recommend working individually with a nutritionist to help identify any food sensitivity or other diet factor that may be causing your reflux.  It will also be important to work with your physician to help you wean off your medication.  Starting a probiotic such as the Bifido Balance, 2 capsules before meals is a great start to help you begin healing.

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