The dangers of Acid Inhibitors, otherwise known as proton pump Inhibitors ( PPI’s ) have been known for some time. Possible Risks were reported by the Australian Medical Journal in 2016. Example brands in Australia are omeprazole ( Losec), esomeprazole (Nexium), rabeprazole ( Pariet ). pantoprazole ( Somac ) etc. These drugs are used in the treatment of Heartburn, Gastritis, Acid Reflux ( GERD), Peptic Ulcers and Barrett’s esophagus. Nexium, in particular, is now freely advertised on Australian television for the alleviation of Gastric Reflux. Recent research has highlighted a few more problems than were though in the past. Before we get into that, here is an overview of what stomach acid is good for.
- Stomach acid secretions are one of the body’s first line of defenses. The acids provide a barrier to molds, fungi, bacteria and some viruses from entering the body properly and causing GUT infection.
- The acids help to break down protein into smaller particles so that they may be broken down into molecules further down the Gastrointestinal tract by Pancreatic enzymes. Stomach acid secretions contribute to the providing of a chemical message activating these enzymes.
- Stomach acid secretions help the body to break down calcium, Iron and other minerals and vitamins to more usable forms so they can be absorbed into the Bloodstream.
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS –
- Pneumonia – According to some reports people using acid blockers were more likely to develop Pneumonia that those who were not as some forms of bacteria and can migrate from the bowels into the throat and then into the lung causing infection,
- Osteoporosis- Since calcium absorption is impaired then long term use of Acid blockers can contribute to Osteoporotic type disorders such as Hip fractures.
- Vitamin deficiency – Iron, Calcium B Group Vitamins, and other minerals need an acid base to be absorbed properly. PPI’s reduce acid to such a low level that these nutrients become poorly absorbed. Long term use can cause a deficiency in these nutrients and add to health issues such as Osteoporosis, Anemia, and low magnesium status, etc.
- Heart Disease
- Irritable bowel disorder
- Infections and disturbed microbiome