A commonly used anti-nausea treatment, granisetron, may be the cure for the problems caused by chocolate, the Digestive Diseases Week conference in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, heard.
Chocolate is widely recognized as having the ability to trigger heartburn, and the new findings suggest this may be linked to its addictive properties.
The research, at the University of Michigan, USA, involved 7 patients with severe GERD.
|Granisetron stops serotonin relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter.
|Digestive Disease Week|
Chocolate was infused directly into the gut and researchers studied what happened.
They found that chocolate triggered the release of serotonin and that this caused the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter.
Granisetron stops the activity of serotonin, and in the trials the doctors found it reduced the problem of heartburn.
Researcher Dr Wei Ming Sun said, "We found that the chocolate causes a large amount of serotonin to be released from the cells in the intestines.
"The serotonin causes the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. The relaxation means the 'door' between the esophagus and stomach is opened and acid is allowed to flow back up to the esophagus."