Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice – DGL for treating Acid Reflux
History of the Licorice
Licorice, as an herb was, well known in traditional Chinese medicine. It was first recorded in one Chinese book in 2100 BC. The modern medical use of licorice root begins in 1946, and it was introduced by Dutch physician called F.E. Revers. According to his report published in 1948 licorice is an efficient herb in the treatment of duodenal ulcers. Numerous studies are confirming that licorice antiviral and antimicrobial activities are among the most important health benefits. Four years later Revers extracted one of the major compounds from the root of the licorice. The name of the compound that is believed to cause a lot of side effects is known as glycyrrhizin (GL). After the removal of the GL, the report showed eradication of the known side effects.
Difference Between standard Licorice and DGL Licorice
DGL stands for Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice, it’s still the same licorice that we are used to, but this time one of the main compound glycyrrhizin has been removed, and according to the scientists, there are no known side effects at the moment. I have been using this product for a very long time, and I can personally assure you that I have never felt any side effects. If consumed a significant amount of pure licorice than you can experience a wide range of health and illness issues ranging from mild to chronic conditions such as high blood pressure. DGL is a form of licorice that companies have chemically processed for safe consumption. Licorice mostly comes in tablets, and it’s advisable to drink them 15-30 minutes before your meal. You can take them 3 times per day or according to your needs.
DGL licorice and Its Health Benefits
Many studies showed that DGL licorice helps patient with acid reflux and ulcers. This is because there are more than 300 flavonoids and more than 20 triterpenoids in DGL and they are proven to be the very effective killer of Helicobacter Pylori strains.
Chemical structure of DGL licorice
It is advisable for all of the people that have Helicobacter infection to drink licorice tea or DGL tablets. It’s even better to take DGL pills because of the known side effects. More about why acid reflux occurs and its reasons you can read in these two articles: Reasons for Acid Re flux and Stomach Pain and Burning Sensation Acid Re flux.
Another health benefit is that DGL licorice increase secretion of mucin or they are stimulating the mucous secreting cells found in the stomach. Furthermore, licorice is proven that regulate cholesterol or support healthy cholesterol levels. DGL licorice is extremely good for improving immune system and support of a healthy brain.
DGL for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
According to one study, it is clear that molecules found in the licorice composition are very effective against viral infections
DGL for Influenza Virus
Several studies confirmed that licorice is an effective agent for influenza treatment because it stops the DNA binding and virus mutation.
DGL pros/ health benefits
- DGL licorice can heal stomach lining by increasing mucus and saliva production
- DGL licorice can heal stomach ulcers
- DGL licorice can help with respiratory chest infections like bronchitis
- DGL licorice can eliminate cold and flu symptoms because of its antibacterial compounds
- DGL licorice can ease a sore throat and bacterial infection
- DGL licorice can treat liver problems, hepatitis c
- DGL licorice can help women with PMS and menstrual problems like cramps, irritability, bloating and breast tenderness
- Adrenal support by stimulating glands
- Helps with constipation
- Regulate digestion and lose weight because
- Helps patients to relieve asthma attacks because of its antispasmodic compounds
- Helps with problems like chest infection and bronchitis
- Stop chest pain and wheezing sounds
- Helps people to fight fungal infections and yeast infections
- Licorice tea is good for vaginal thrush, endometriosis and Candida infection.
- It can help you heal your acne, cuts, burns and skin allergies
- Good for your kidneys
- DGL tablets can heal your esophagus sphincter
DGL licorice Clinical Evidence/Trials to Date
There are a couple of trials worth mentioning, but the most impressive trial is where DGL licorice proved to be effective in ulcer healing. This report was published in 1973 where 40 patients have been diagnosed with duodenal ulcers by a physician. The patients were given a combination of Caved-S in which DGL comprises 42% for 8 and 16 weeks. In the end, none of the patients required medical/surgical intervention to get rid of the ulcers. There are no recent studies on the medical benefits of DGL licorice because of the advent of H2 blockers and PPIs drugs. DGL was no longer being studied as a natural remedy for healing ulcers, but as supportive therapy alone or with H2 blocking agents.
Licorice Side effects, Licorice Poisoning
If the licorice root tea is used daily for a prolonged period, then it will lead to a fluid imbalance in your body. The glycyrrhizic acid compound found in licorice affect cortisol and because of that sodium and potassium levels can fluctuate. In other words, this means that if we take licorice regularly for a prolonged time, then sodium retention and potassium loss will occur. That is why DGL licorice is recommended where GL is extracted. It is always advisable to talk with your physician to give you the best advice for how to use DGL licorice according to your current health situation. The doctor should monitor your health, but because GL compound is removed side effects are minimized and electrolyte imbalances and cardiac abnormalities are rare.
When it comes to licorice candies and sweets, then you should not be worried. Most of the candies like Twizzlers, they don’t even contain licorice extract. Even if they contain licorice as the black licorice candies the GL compound is removed so again it is safe for consumption. Most of the companies add some natural sweetener to mimic the real sweet taste of licorice.
Black Licorice: Trick or Treat?
According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you can overdose on candy or black licorice candies. FDA advises people of overdosing on black licorice. The side effects that you might feel are the following: irregular heart rhythm, high blood pressure, edema or swelling, and lethargy.
Why is this happening? Because, as we discussed above, the potassium levels will drop and fluid imbalance will occur. FDA experts advise people to eat small amounts of black licorice and if there are any side effects, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
DGL Licorice and drug interactions
If we read about the Licorice composition above, we can understand that pure licorice root tea can raise blood pressure because of the presence of glycyrrhizin? So combination with other medications can even make things worse.
According to University of Maryland, there are possible interactions with licorice
- Oral contraceptives– Licorice should not be used together with oral contraceptives because they can raise blood pressure and reduce the potassium levels.
- Do not take licorice if you are taking Ace-inhibitors and diuretics. It may decrease the effectiveness of these medications.
- Aspirin– According to studies licorice will act on healing stomach inflammation and ulcers when taking aspirin
- Laxatives– Licorice can reduce potassium levels.
- Digoxin– Licorice should not be used together with digoxin because can increase the toxic effects of
- Insulin– Licorice may interfere with insulin.
Always seek a professional opinion whether your DGl licorice is safe to take along with your prescribed medications. Another problem is that there are many licorice products on the market and not every one of them is U.S FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved. You can find proven DGL licorice products on our DGL Product review. These products have been used and tested by millions of people. We also recommend reading about other licorice products that are organic. Always consult with your doctor before taking any alternative therapies.