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Surgeon Says Food May Be To Blame For Rise In Esophageal Cancer

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(credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –  A sharp rise in esophageal cancer has its roots in what we eat, says a New York doctor with a new book that covers cause, effect and solution.

Stomach acid burbling up our throats is more than annoying, says Dr. Jonathan Aviv, a surgeon and author of Killing Me Softly From Inside. He argues that acidic foods from chocolate to soda to alcohol not only acidify the stomach, but do great damage on the way.

“As you’re swallowing them, you activate acid receptors in the throat, in the esophagus, and these enzymes basically start eating away your own tissues.”

Dr. Aviv says things are made worse by food safety regulations that require higher acidity.

“A banana has a near-neutral acidity, It has a pH of about six, pH is a measurement of relative acidity. Baby banana food has a pH of four, that’s 100 times more acidic and that starts in infancy.”

Dr. Aviv’s book is full of recipes to help make your diet easier to swallow.

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