3RD LEADING CLASS OF MEDICATION LINKED TO HEART DISEASE?
Given my understanding of human physiology, I consider the act of digestion and assimilation of nutrients to be one of the most important things that our bodies do. Off the top of my head, I can list at least 10 things that stomach acid is absolutely essential for. In other words–it’s REALLY important. Then consider the fact that age and stress begins to drastically lower our stomach’s production of acid. With this fact in mind, one would begin to ask how a class of drug that further lowers an already too little production of acid could hold the #3 spot in drug use. A very good question and one that I can’t really answer because it doesn’t make sense if one understands how digestion works. The proton pump inhibitors (names like Prilosec, Nexium, Aciphex, Protonix) shut down digestion. Because of this, they have been linked to osteoporosis, liver problems, weakening of the lining of the gut, C. difficile infections and now (as if the list already wasn’t bad enough), heart disease. Given how incredibly rare making TOO much stomach acid is, one should ask what is the purpose of this med being used in patients. The only viable use is if someone has a bleeding ulcer, in which case this class of drugs will save a life. Ironically, most people given PPIs are actually making too LITTLE stomach acid and supporting digestion (apple cider vinegar, digestive enzymes, stress mang’t) goes a long way towards eliminating symptoms.