This will be a multi-part series on digestive health and disorders. Today we're starting with the big three. The three most commonly used non-prescription products that have a negative impact on digestive health.
Alcohol- The excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages damages the intestinal tract and strains the liver. The liver is responsible for producing bile, the substance that breaks down fat in the digestive process.
Nicotine and caffeine- These substances injure the stomach and esophagus. They relax the sphincter muscle that controls the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach. Consequently, hydrochloric acid from the stomach can splash into the esophagus to cause heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease.