Heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a painful disease that affects 60 percent of the adult population in the U.S. within a year. Fortunately, a non-toxic, inexpensive orange peel extract can help relieve heartburn symptoms.A clinical study has shown that D-limonene, a component of orange peels, can effectively relieve heartburn symptoms after two weeks of supplementation. In the study, the researchers gave the participants one 1,000-milligram (mg) capsule of purified D-limonene every other day for 20 days.
At the start of the study, participants rated their heartburn symptoms from 1 to 10, with the average severity reaching around 8. However, after supplementing with D-limonene, 83 percent of the participants who took limonene reported that their symptoms’ severity dropped to 1 or 2. The researchers found that more participants benefited when they took the nutrient supplement every other day compared to taking it every day.
Furthermore, the beneficial effects of D-limonene remained even after six months of stopping the supplementation. Half of the respondents in the follow-up survey reported that they remained free of gastric distress. This led the researchers to conclude that D-limonene has long-lasting beneficial effects.
D-limonene relieves heartburn by coating the esophagus, which in turn, helps protect against refluxed stomach contents. It also possesses powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which enables it to combat oxidative damage and inflammation. In addition, it promotes healthy peristalsis, causing faster travel through the stomach so that irritants do not cause as much reflux. The nutrient also increases bile production, balance stomach acidification, and enhances detoxification to eliminate toxins and wastes from the digestive tract.
Heartburn can be caused or made worse by the following:
Eating certain foods and drinks like coffee, alcohol, chocolate, fatty foods, and spicy foods
Gaining excess weight or being overweight
Taking drug medications, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
A hiatus hernia, which occurs when part of the stomach moves up into the chest
Other health benefits of D-limonene
D-limonene is a compound in citrus-fruit peels like orange and lemon peels, available in dietary supplement form. Some preliminary studies have reported that supplementation with D-Limonene may provide some health benefits. Here are some of them:
It is good for the heart: D-limonene, as a potential lipid-lowering agent, can lower both triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels. It can also lower blood pressure.
It strengthens the immune system: D-limonene is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that can help boost immunity. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can kill pathogens and prevent infections.
It enhances gallbladder health: Because it is a solvent of cholesterol, it has been clinically used to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones and remove fat sludge in the gallbladder.
It prevents fatty liver and insulin resistance: This nutrient has been shown to help prevent the accumulation of fat that causes fatty liver, while preventing insulin resistance.
It can help in weight loss: D-limonene can help in weight loss by acting as a mild appetite suppressant.
It is good for the brain: D-limonene can calm the nerves, which in turn, can reduce anxiety and improve sleep patterns.
It can prevent cancer: Some studies suggested that it may protect against cancer. It may help prevent the growth of tumors and potentially protect against breast cancer, skin cancer, and colon cancer (Related: Compounds in lemon found to effectively fight cancer without harmful side effects.)