I could probably write a regular “I Told You So” column because new research keeps showing up that backs up advice that I’ve been giving for years. If you are among the 21 million people in this country who take a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) used for blocking acid in the stomach, then read on.
These medications are prescribed for treating ulcers, serious heart burn, and other digestive problems. The most popular medications in this class are called Nexium, Aciphex, Prevacid, Protonix, Zergerid and Prilosec. A few of these are sold over-the-counter, by their brand name, or as a store-brand generic. These drugs shut down acid production, 24/7 and they get the job done but at a price.
The FDA is now going to require warning labels on all of these drugs stating that they rob your body of magnesium (hypomagnesemia) and that it could lead to severe adverse effects. Finally! I’ve been sounding the warning for years about magnesium depletion from taking acid blockers, and dozens of other drugs! I actually wrote the book on ‘drug muggers!’ I’ll warn you again, these drugs deplete your body of other minerals, and B vitamins too! Thousands of drugs are mugging you of essential micronutrients, and this is what causes side effects!
Your heart needs magnesium to pump and to manufacture happy brain neurotransmitters. Your muscles need it in order to tense and relax. Magnesium helps make red blood cells and it sends messages along your nerves properly. It helps you form DNA, the genetic material that encodes who you are. It helps your immune system defend you from germs and it maintains bone integrity. If you take acid blockers (or antacids) for more than six months, bet your bottom dollar you’re clean out of minerals and B vitamins, not to mention your beneficial gut flora.
Does all this mean that you should stop taking your medicine? No, do whatever you and your doctor agree upon. I’m just saying you should “marry” your acid blocking medication with a powerful trace mineral supplement and B complex each day. Or, you could take spirulina tablets instead, which offer a more bioavailable version of all your B vitamins and minerals in one tablet. To help ensure good nutrient status, please eat (or juice) lots of green leafy vegetables.
Explore natural remedies for heartburn and reflux. I’ve archived some articles at my website www.SuzyCohen.com that will help you find nutrients such as DGL, triphala, betaine or glutamine which may help.
The topic of drug muggers is of major league importance. Your comfort, if not your life depends on you learning what nutrients are depleted by your medications, and it’s easy to correct. Check out my book Drug Muggers: Which Medications Are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients—And Natural Ways to Restore Them. It’s your side effect solution.