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Old 05-31-2011, 08:05 AM   #1
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trikatu HB User
Why do onions cause heartburn?

Can anyone explain why exactly onion is such a major GERD trigger? Even the scientific studies appear unanimous on this. Yet they don't seem to fit any of the usual explanations for what might be causing GERD: they're highly 'alkaline' (according to the lists) and they don't cause gas (as far as I can tell). So what's the reason?

Old 05-31-2011, 08:31 AM   #2
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solofelix HB Usersolofelix HB Usersolofelix HB Usersolofelix HB Usersolofelix HB Usersolofelix HB Usersolofelix HB Usersolofelix HB Usersolofelix HB Usersolofelix HB Usersolofelix HB User
Re: Why do onions cause heartburn?

What suits one may not suit another. I have AR/GERD, I can eat onions cooked no problem but if I eat them raw I get pain.
Also I cant eat Garlic, not that I like it anyhow. Solofelix.

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:22 AM   #3
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Re: Why do onions cause heartburn?

Yes I know there are individual triggers, but there must be something more specific about onions and garlic since they are such common (and potent) triggers. I am particularly curious since garlic is also a powerful anti-fungal (as is onion to a degree, I think?), and is generally considered good for candida and similar conditions. This seems like a clue to something, but I'm not sure what yet... maybe something to do with the relationship between GERD and the immune system?

Old 02-24-2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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Re: Why do onions cause heartburn?

Hi -

It's interesting that GERD is exacerbated by two factors - extra acidity and relaxing of the LES. Looks like onions do the latter:

Onions, chocolate, and mints:
Onions, chocolate, and mints have all been shown to cause indigestion by relaxing the LES.17-21, The effects of onion on acid reflux and reflux symptoms were investigated in 16 normal subjects and 16 heartburn subjects.17 Subjects were studied by testing the acid in their esophagus two hours after the ingestion of a plain hamburger and a glass of ice water. The identical meal, with the addition of a slice of onion, was ingested on another day. Onions significantly increased all measures of heartburn in subjects and were found to be a potent and long-lasting cause of reflux in heartburn patients. Cooking onions destroys substances that are the cause of indigestion. This is why most people have no problems with cooked onions.

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