DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) to Treat Barrett’s EsophagusDGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) to Treat Barrett’s Esophagus
Licorice is a legume and member of pea family (Fabaceae). It is used to treat variety of diseases and it also has a historical medicinal value. Now scientific studies also proved that it is very useful in inflammatory bowel disease, stomach ulcer and Barrett's oesophagus. Glycyrrhizin is a component of licorice. This is a dangerous substance and can increase blood pressure to very dangerous level. It causes retention of salts and water also. If it is consumed, human body converts it to Glycyrrhetinic acid. It also causes retention of sodium and elevation of blood pressure. Because of these harmful effects, Glycyrrhizin is removed from licorice and it is used in the form deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL). It doesn’t cause any harm to body, doesn’t cause elevation of blood pressure and retention of salt and water.
Liquorice is very useful in case of a stomach ulcer (or peptic ulcer) and Gastroesophageal reflux disease. It increases the production of mucus in the stomach and mucus helps in protecting the stomach and oesophagal walls from acidic erosion. Dysfunction of mucous secreting glands is one of the major causes of getting a stomach ulcer. Stomach ulcer results in heartburn and is a major risk factor of acid reflux and Barrett's oesophagus. Acid damages the oesophagal lining and converts it to Barrett's oesophagus in which the innermost lining of the oesophagus changes from normal to intestinal type. Mucus protects the walls of the gut from acidic damage. DGL is available in a chewable form and it coats the oesophagal wall and protect it from harmful effects of stomach acid, decrease inflammation, promote healing and reduce visceral spasm. It increases the blood flow which in turn enhances the mucous secreting ability of glands. Thus it helps in curing Barrett's oesophagus in many ways.
Liquorice can increase the level of bilirubin in the human body. Bilirubin Is a substance that is produced in the liver from the breakdown of red blood cells and haemoglobin. High concentration of bilirubin imparts a yellow colour to eyes and skin. This usually indicates a disease but the latest scientific study revealed that bilirubin in higher concentration than normal acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are very useful chemical substances that protect the body from ageing and cancer. Antioxidants also delay the progress of Barrett's oesophagus to oesophagal cancer.
Experts acknowledge the healing and medicinal properties of liquorice but there are very few scientific studies that support its positive role in Barrett's oesophagus. Further studies and researches are needed to prove this property of liquorice. Liquorice shouldn’t be used by pregnant woman.



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