A growing number of people suffer the pain and discomfort of heartburn or reflux on a regular basis. It has been estimated that up to twenty percent of the population are affected at least once a week. Acid reflux and heartburn occur when the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) allows the acid content of the stomach to flow back up into the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube like structure that connects the mouth and throat to the stomach. The LES is a valve which naturally protects the delicate esophagus from harmful acids. It is almost like a trapdoor, which opens up to allow the food we eat to enter the gut. Hydrochloric acid is then produced by the body to help break these substances down.