Downside of acid drug. Yang & Metz, 2010. Gastroenterology. 139:1115-27.



Downside of acid drug. Yang & Metz, 2010. Gastroenterology. 139:1115-27.


Commonly prescribed acid-suppressing drugs (proton-pump inhibitors) may be causing harmful nutrient deficiencies

Millions of people take a drug called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI’s whose names end in …prazole) for symptoms such as heartburn and acid reflux. The drug works by reducing levels of stomach acid. The downside is that because adequate stomach acid is required to release key nutrients from your food so that they can be absorbed further down the digestive tract, this drug can cause nutrient deficiencies. Some of the key nutrient levels that may be affected include vitamin B12 (vital for brain health), magnesium (important for bone health, blood sugar balance, heart health and more), calcium (bone health) and iron (vital for energy). In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has become so concerned about the link between poor bone health and increased risk of fracture associated with the use of these drugs that it has issued a safety announcement, suggesting that prescribers look again at the risk:benefit ratio when prescribing this type of drug.

Our comment:If you are taking this type of medication, it’s important that you don’t just stop taking it, but we would suggest speaking with your prescribing doctor and asking for a review of the prescription (i.e. do you still need it?). If it is necessary to continue with it, or you have been taking it for a while, you might like to consult a nutritional therapist who can assess your nutritional status to ensure that you aren’t deficient in key nutrients. Make sure any nutritional therapist that you consult is a member of BANT (British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy) and is CNHC-registered (Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council – the Department of Health sponsored regulator).

Click here for the FDA safety communication