“Studies Link Some Stomach Drugs to Possible Alzheimers: Doctors and patients are grappling with the unsettling finding that chronic use of popular heartburn medicines may be riskier than was thought. SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN 2/17/2018Perhaps the biggest surprise came last year when two studies linked the regular use of proton-pump inhibitors to conditions that were seemingly unrelated to the acid levels of the stomach. One of the studies, published in JAMA Neurology, found that the drugs increased the risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease; the other, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggested a greater risk of kidney problems.”
Proton pump inhibitors Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec, are something like a $17 billion dollar market in the United States alone. They are prescribed to stop stomach acid production. In fact, many of the patients I have seen who have gastric reflux, have low stomach acid. This has been shown in studies that actually measure stomach acid levels. I typically see dramatic improvements using small amounts of stomach acid for symptomatic relief while we work on solving the root cause. Think about it. Why do we have stomach acid? Stomach acid is necessary to absorb minerals including calcium and iron. It is necessary to absorb vitamins. It is important to kill off bacteria and parasites. And finally, it is needed to digest our food, especially proteins. People with low stomach acid frequently have low protein which is needed to make the enzymes that run every chemical reaction in your body. This article in the Scientific American cites studies linking proton pump inhibitors to dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease and chronic gastrointestinal problems including C. difficile infections. There is a better way.