I have acid reflux, and I used to think that the problem is due to high acid levels. However, I saw a video by dr. Eric Berg and he suggests that it is due to low levels of acid. Is this true?

I would also like to know what would happen if your stomach acids are too high? I would appreciate if you link to a study or research paper.

The video, https://youtu.be/HSNZlFlTMYw


1 Answer 1


It's neither.

Acid reflux, according to Wikipedia, is caused by:

... poor closure of the lower esophageal sphincter ...

(second paragraph)

This in turn causes stomach acid to rise into the esophagus, which is regardless of the levels of acid present in the stomach.

The WP reference given is NIDKK, who say that a weak sphincter is caused by:

  • increased pressure on your abdomen from being overweight, obese, or pregnant certain medicines, including those that doctors use to treat asthma —a long-lasting disease in your lungs that makes you extra sensitive to things that you’re allergic to
  • calcium channel blockers—medicines that treat high blood pressure
  • antihistamines—medicines that treat allergy symptoms
  • painkillers
  • sedatives—medicines that help put you to sleep
  • antidepressants —medicines that treat depression
  • smoking, or inhaling secondhand smoke

and make no mention of the stomach contents as a cause.

  • If you watch the video it says that the sphincter malfunctions due to low stomach acid May 31, 2019 at 8:08
  • He says (around 0:40-1:20) that the low acidity of the stomach contents mean that the sphincter doesn't sense any danger, and fails to close, whereas high acid levels (a low pH) mean that the sphincter goes into override mode, and stays shut anyway, which is an argument based on pH levels of the acid, and not its quantity. He also says 'most of the time', which means that it can happen regardless.
    – JMP
    May 31, 2019 at 9:11

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