A Formula with a 1200-Year-Old Root and 30 Years of Successful Clinical Application.
In a recent US study involving 350,000 people, Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix) -- some of the most widely sold drugs in the world -- are linked to early death!
The VA St. Louis Healthcare System and Washington University researchers found those who used PPIs were 25% more likely to die than people who took another antacid, and 23% more likely to die than people who took neither. For those who took PPIs consistently for more than six months the risk of death rose 31% higher, and after a year, to 51%.
Why We Developed GastroCombo?
Common anti-heartburn or anti-reflux drugs, including Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 antagonists, only provide temporary relief from the pain of acid reflux, by suppressing gastric acid production which is indispensable for the normal physiology of human digestive system. For example, normal function of certain pancreatic enzymes require the secretion of gastric acid. Gastric acid also help establish an optimal pH in intestinal tract required for the maintenance of good microbiota.
Moreover, according to a recent study, over 60 % of the people with Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the chronic and more severe form of acid reflux, do not even have excessive production of gastric acid. The root cause is actually a band of muscle tissue called lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that is essential for maintaining a pressure barrier against backflow of contents from the stomach. If it weakens, the LES cannot close completely, and acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. Therefore it does not make sense for every patient to take acid reducing drugs.
A growing body of research has exposed the hidden risks of common heartburn and reflux drugs. The FDA warns that taking the popular PPI drugs, some of the best selling drugs in the world, may cause a dangerous condition known as C. Diff infection, as well as possibly other side effects such as fatigue, brittle bones, dementia, irregular heartbeat, and iron deficiency (http://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20170111075815/http:/www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm213259.htm).
What Is GastroCombo?
The formula of GastroCombo was created based on two time tested herbal formulae in traditional Chinese medicine: Zuo Jin Wan and Si Qi Tang. Both have been successfully used for stomach and esophagus problems for over a thousand years.
The Zuo Jin Wan formula was established by an iconic traditional Chinese medicine doctor named Sun Simiao (581 - 682(?) AD), who was titled the “King of Medicine” because of his exceptional contribution to Chinese medicine and his selfless care to every patient. Master Sun lived for over 100 years, while the average life span was merely 30 years or so during his time.
The original formula of Zuo Jin Wan consists of only two herbs, Coptis root and Evodia root. Two other herbs, Magnolia and Perilla are chosen from the Si Qi Tang formula. Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors and their patients know these formulae work, but the science behind them was not revealed until recently when substantial research has been conducted to evaluate the effects of these herbal ingredients.
With GastroCombo, we build upon these time tested formulae, and make them even better by adding a few more safe and proven ingredients! GastroCombo was developed and refined by Dr. Jing Liu, our master herbalist and co-founder. Dr. Jing Liu is trained in both traditional Chinese medicine and evidence-based Western medicine, and has run an acclaimed clinical practice for 30 years in the USA.
Over the years, our improved formula has delivered much relief to people suffering from acid reflux, especially for those who have not had much luck with conventional PPI drugs or other acid reducing drugs, as well as those mostly concerned with the side effects of PPIs.
Main Ingredients for GastroCombo
We have chosen the herbal ingredients of GastroCombo based on traditional wisdom, research data, as well as successful clinical application.
DGL form of licorice
DGL stands for deglycyrrhizinated licorice. Licorice has been used in many forms throughout the centuries around the world. Traditionally, the licorice root is well-known for having hormonal, digestive and respiratory benefits. The deglycyrrhizinated version has the glycyrrhizin part removed, making it even safer for long-term use.
Licorice has been scientifically proven to convey anti-inflammatory and anti-gastric ulcer effects. It was shown to support the body's natural defense mechanisms by stimulating the renewal of gastric mucosa lining the stomach and forming a major protective barrier against gastric acid erosion. In one study, licorice root extract was used to treat 100 patients with stomach ulcers -- 86 of whom had not improved with conventional medication -- for six weeks. Ulcers disappeared in 22 people and 90% of participants improved.
There is a growing body of evidence linking abnormal gastric motility and postural effects in the etiology of gastro-esophageal reflux disorder (GERD). Specifically, recent investigations demonstrated that weakness of gastroesophageal motility is involved in a large portion of patients with GERD, as well as symptoms such as bloating, regurgitation and dyspepsia.
Magnolia bark promotes the motility of stomach and gut, with its effect on stomach emptying lasting for three hours. It is reported that this effect may result from its ability to work on the 5-HT receptors in the gastrointestinal system. Approximately 90% of the 5-HT (or serotonin) receptors are located in the enterochromaffin cells in the GI tract. Activation of a wide range of 5-HT receptors results in enhanced gastrointestinal motility.
Perilla has been used as a spice in Asian cuisines. It is a commonly used herb in traditional Chinese medicine for gastrointestinal discomforts, including gas, bloating and stomachache. Modern pharmaceutical studies have demonstrated that perilla possesses anti-inflammatory properties likely by regulating prostaglandin E1 in GI system. Perilla has also been shown to promote gastrointestinal and bowel movement. In addition, perilla carries certain anti-bacterial and anti-allergic function based on animal studies.
Codonopsis is one of the most popular herbs for digestive health. It is also a popular herb for mental and physical energy. Its anti-gastric ulcer and gastrointestinal motility-promoting effects were confirmed by series of medical studies. These studies showed that codonopsis can significantly prevent gastric mucosa injury from alcohol, HCl and aspirin, by markedly improving gastric mucosal barrier and reducing excessive gastric acidity. Codonopsis may also promote mucosa repair likely by enhancing ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) expression.
It's also been shown that codonopsis increases the activity of stomach proteases, possibly explaining how this herb may play such an important role in improving digestion in traditional use. Moreover, codonopsis could also increase gastrointestinal motility and decrease spasmodic contraction.
Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that coptis is a strong anti-inflammatory agent. GERD patients often have inflammation or even ulcer in esophagus. Coptis root contains the same anti-inflammatory ingredient, berberine, as some American herbs such as golden seal, oregano oil, Oregon grape, barberis, etc. Unlike anti-inflammatory agents such as the popular COX-2 inhibitors (such as Celebrex and Vioxx), coptis does not have the side effect of causing gastric ulcer or bleeding. Moreover, many studies have confirmed that berberine serves as an anti-infective of certain viruses, bacteria, and fungi such as Candida. Unlike antibiotics, the required dose of coptis is far below the dosage harmful to the desired probiotics in gut.
One of the causes of GERD may be stress. Stress can elevate the sympathetic nervous system and throw off the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. This may explain why some patients with heartburn or stomachache have no excessive gastric acid secretion. Coptis is traditionally used to target emotional stress too, a syndrome that can literally be translated as ”chest fire” in traditional Chinese medicine. Coptis was shown to attenuate the sympathetic nervous system, thus rendering balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. Coptis can also lower appetite, safely.
Ginger is a popular ingredient in cooking, internationally. It has also been commonly used for gastric discomforts, such as nausea, vomiting, stomachache, etc. Studies showed that ginger can protect mucosa membrane of stomach from inflammation or ulcer from chemical injuries by inhibiting COX-2 activity and prostaglandins synthesis. It is also demonstrated that ginger possesses certain anti-bacterial and anti-allergic function.
Studies support the use of Evodia fruit for GERD for several reasons: a low dose of the herb may reduce but not inhibit gastric acid production; additionally, evodia has been shown to reduce the incidence of gastric ulcer in animals. Evodia is traditionally used as anti-nausea and anti-stomach pain herb. It is also used for reducing gas, likely by inhibiting abnormal fermentation of the foods in gut. Data has actually shown that evodia has inhibitory effects on growth of fungi including candida, certain bacteria, and parasites.