Good article explaing DGL and compatible enzymes

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(Taken from Huffington Post)

There are many supplements I frequently recommend to my patients in my integrative medicine clinic in San Jose, Calif. One of my all-time favorites is deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL. The reason I love this supplement is that it addresses many health issues, and I am a big fan of addressing many issues with one stone, so to speak. 

Licorice has been used in many forms throughout the centuries by many cultures. Traditionally, the licorice root is used for hormonal issues, gut and throat issues, respiratory issues, and fatigue issues. We know now that the glycyrrhizin in licorice root can cause issues with hypertension, edema, and possibly effect a hormonal component of our renal regulation called aldosterone regulation. So, there is definitely a concern for long-term use in regards to licorice root. 

But the deglycyrrhizinated licorice version has the substantial parts of glycyrrhizin removed, therefore is a safer option for long-term use if needed. 

One main reason I use DGL in my patients is for gastrointestinal issues. In my clinical experience, patients who have heartburn, peptic ulcer disease, or gastritis find great relief from DGL. There was a study published in the British Medical Journalcomparing an over-the-counter medication for peptic ulcer disease and DGL for 82 patients who had endoscopically healed peptic ulcer. Patients were given two tablets of DGL twice daily compared to a regular dosage of the over-the-counter medication for peptic ulcer disease. After two years on this regimen, the recurrence rate for gastric ulcers for the two groups was relatively similar. However, after both groups went off the medication or DGL, the recurrence of peptic ulcers occurred. 

This study demonstrates DGL as an effective potential alternative to taking over-the-counter stomach ulcer medications if you have any concerns about these medications. 

The general dosage to use of DGL is about one to three tablets of DGL at a dosage of 380-400 mg per tablet. You would take it about 30 minutes before each meal to help your stomach upset issues. On the bottle, you should make sure that there is less than 1 to 2 percent glycyrrhizin in the tablet to make sure that majority of the concerning component is out of the tablets so that you can more safely use this long-term.

For many of my patients, they find that DGL also helps with fatigue because it has traditionally been used for adrenal support as well. Some of the more important takeaway points are that even though most of the glycyrrhizin is out of the DGL, you should still check your blood pressure daily at the start of using this supplement. Once you have been using the DGL for a while and are being monitored by a doctor for the long-term usage of this, you should still check your blood pressure once or twice every week to make sure that your blood pressure remains in your normal range. 

Some other key factors to keep in mind are that you should also have your kidney and liver function checked regularly. Although there are generally minimal concerns with usage of DGL, in regard to your liver and kidney function -- as you would with any other medication you use long-term -- I caution all of my patients to treat supplements like a medication in that they should not be cavalier about using supplements, either. If you are on any supplements or medications on a daily basis, you should always have regular blood work done to monitor your liver and kidney functioning. 

If you think that you are having any issues, whether it is hypertension or swelling in ankles, you may want to consider coming off the DGL and see if the symptoms improve. You should also see your doctor for a full physical evaluation and discussion about your supplement and medication regimen if you should at any point have any concerns about new or worsening symptoms. 

It's safe to say that I am a huge fan of supplements as alternative options for medications when the safety profile is more favorable. So when you do have an ailment such as fatigue or stomach upset, DGL is a great option. But as with anything you ingest on a daily basis, natural, common-sense precautions should be taken. So make sure you are checking your blood pressure and blood work regularly, and make sure to keep your doctor in the loop about any new supplements or medications you are taking. 

In my clinic, I teach my patients to use common sense with their health more so than anything else. In the end, being overly cautious is always better than not being cautious enough. While the safety profile and effectiveness of DGL in treating stomach ulcers, heartburn or gastritis is similar -- if not better -- than over-the-counter strong medications (and it is one of my favorites to use in my patients with no major issues in usage), continue to use common sense when starting a new supplement, whether it be DGL or something else. 

Reference:

 

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Rex, how long do you need to take DGL before you see some benefit?
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie - we started taking it whilst still on ppi's. My wife had zero problems. I have a hiatus hernia which as you know throws up all sorts of other problems. I have found it really works for me the second I get a hernia pain. Just suck a pill! This means I dont take it religously before meals, rather the opposite. I found this tip on Amazon USA where there are 200 or so reviews on it. My needs nothing but DGL and tolerates missed doses easily. Sadly I need extras and take ACV, slippery elm, aloe, digestive enzymes (great for weaning you off Tums etc and far safer) lemon juice each morning. However I know I will master this affliction before too long. Its one of this years main aims!
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  • Posted

    Thanks for the reply Rex, have just been to get some digestive enzymes. Do you know if you can take them while you're on Nexium? Do you find that Digestive enzymes work for acid reflux or LPR?
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie - cant see Nexium knocking them out. They do make you feel better so far as well being goes
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    • Posted

      Hi Rex, just asking. Do you have GORD and LPR ? Just wondered how you managed the LPR symptoms. You seem to be on top of things pretty well and have such a positive attitude which is great.
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie - thanks for the encouragement, much appreciated. Sadly we have only been really health consious for a couple of years so there is a heap of damage to be undone. Pretty well convinced that too many meds cause the most problems. Feed your body the right foods and it will respond and hopefully repair itself. We do get a lot of inspiration from The Food Hospital. Istarted with GORD but with diet and lifestyle changes it went away and turned into LPR - of course this could have been in the background all the time. There is no way I could honestly say that its cured as one has to be super carefull and its darn hard living such a restricted diet. I cant honestly tell you how the enzmes are going as I havent been on them even a week and am building up the dose slowly. Friday week I should be on 6 caps a day. Battling chest pains at present big time from hiatus hernia (absolutely not a heart problem) . Goes away for a few hours after taking DGL which in my case makes me burp thereby reducing pressure and the pain subsides. I do wish I knew more about this and hopefully I will with a new top gastro on the 25th. Writing this at the dentists - trying to get all dental issues resolved so food gets chewed to a pulp! On the other hand my wifes LPR seems to have totally gone with only using 6 DGL a day which really is wonderfull. However she has one remaing nasty problem. She was given Pristiq for hot flushes. Her body is asking for more as we werent told this stuff is a particularly nasty anti-depressent. Trust me Julie she went through hell shedding this stuff BUT is eventually winning. Totally off it for a week now. What are your plans for 2015?
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    • Posted

      Hi Rex, good to hear that your wife has done so well with the DGL. Can I ask did it take long for her LPR to subside? I need to be well again. Have been off sick from work but am going back on Monday. I'm a nurse working on a Gynae unit which is very interesting so it will be nice to go back. I'm putting a lot of faith in probiotics and digestive enzymes, hopefully my symptoms will become manageable, the Nexium don't seem to be doing much!
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie

      Reckon you are on the right track trying to get back to work as it stops one focussing on all the negatives. She was on Somac and took DGL concurrently for two weeks then eased off the Somac over the next two weeks. She has had zero set backs but has bought enough DGL to last 6 months. I'm sure the probiotics will help. I havent had a lot of luck. Tried Swansons and Blackmores and both gave throat restriction within an hour (that was before I knew about the pulse test). I think the problem is milk base? I do get some probiotics via A2 milk with zero problems. This truly has me tossed? Suggest you give Colustrum a try first thing in the morning as many say its pretty good. The latest new try seems to be Melatonin before going to bed. It possibly works as you must get better sleep. All the best and I'm sure working will be a positive step forward. The really worrying thing though is there just arent enough success stories on this quite large forum. It could be those that get better "forget" to pass on the good news maybe? Interestingly the dentist zi saw yesterday believed in natural cures and actually suggested the baking soda gargles to help gums. Also gave me 3 tubes of a pepsin neutralising toothpaste. I do think it is important to always have a "cure" in stock ready to use as others fall by the wayside! Mental attitude is critically important.

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    • Posted

      Hi Rex, just got your post from yesterday. Is Somac a PPI?  What is Colustrum Rex? Can I get it in the UK? Do you believe this theory about Pepsin? There seems to be conflicting advice and it's difficult to know what to believe. I definitely have gastric reflux which is what I thought caused my throat problems. Pepsin is to do with "silent reflux" isn't it? I'm seeing an ENT consultant soon and hopefully he'll do a scope. Mind you if he finds LPR the standard treatment is PPI's and Gaviscon which I'm on anyway!
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  • Posted

    Hi Rex, hope that you can reply to my last post because I would be really interested to find out how your wife did so well with her LPR.
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    • Posted

      Hi Julie - How did you go back at work? All OK I hope? Now the good news with enzymes is I' m now on two capsules with each meal and I can feel a difference so I think this is a worthwhile thing to try. I used the allergy pulse test and nothing happened as I increased the dose,
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    • Posted

      Hi Rex, yes went back to work which was great but my throat is killing me. Glad to hear that Digestive Enzymes working for you. In what way are they helping you?
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