PPIs could light a fire in your liver
You’ve just had a big, satisfying meal… and a couple of drinks… and the next thing you know it’s “Burn, baby, burn.“
And no, I don’t mean a “disco inferno” out on the dance floor — I’m talking about the blaze that’s burning in your chest!
Heartburn, acid reflux, GERD — whatever you call it, it’s not only excruciatingly painful, but it can also be downright embarrassing when you’re out and about.
No wonder so many folks reach for protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prilosec prior to feasting — because those acid-blockers promise to stop heartburn before it even starts.
But according to a new study, the temporary relief you get from PPIs could be DISASTROUS for your health down the line — because these drugs can really sock you in the liver.
In the study out of the University of California, San Diego, researchers found evidence in both humans and mice that when PPIs suppress stomach acid, they open the door to changes in your gut bacteria.
Now, we know from previous studies that the lack of acid in your stomach from PPIs can allow bad bugs to slip through, which triples your risk of serious GI infections.
But that’s not all — because the new study found that this absence of stomach acid can also promote the growth of a strain of unfriendly bacteria called Enterococcus, which can travel to your liver and wreak havoc there.
It can set off inflammation… and injury!
You could wind up with chronic liver disease if you don’t already have it, or the liver problems you may already have — including alcohol-induced liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) — could worsen.
What’s more, we know from previous studies that when PPIs block stomach acid, they also keep your body from properly absorbing nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium.
That may be part of why PPIs have been linked to an increased risk of stroke… heart attack… kidney failure… and even dementia.
Translation: Taking PPIs to extinguish the burn in your chest will only fan the flames of disease in your body.
Instead, try some natural ways to cut your heartburn off at the pass.
A first step is to identify your food triggers — spicy foods and acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes are common culprits.
Limiting alcohol and keeping your weight in check can also help.
But if those proactive steps aren’t enough to lessen your need for Prilosec, then you can always try a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved into water — a safe, time-tested way to neutralize acid.
Magnesium, peppermint, and natural licorice (a.k.a. anise or fennel) can also bring relief.
But if it turns out your stomach acid secretion is actually abnormally high, it could be caused by a bacterial infection. In that case, I recommend capsules of Chios mastic gum, which should be enough to kill it off and bring your acid levels down.