In a recent article, Dr. Mercola writes, “An estimated 15 to 20 million Americans use acid inhibiting drugs to treat heartburn. Indeed, PPIs are among the most widely prescribed drugs today, with annual sales of about $14 billion. This despite the fact that they were never intended to treat heartburn in the first place. Research clearly shows that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are severely overprescribed and misused, and do far more harm than good in the long run.”
Research has linked PPIs with a heightened risk for a number of serious health problems, including chronic kidney disease, pneumonia, osteoporosis, hip fractures, and dementia.
According to recent research published in JAMA Neurology, seniors over the age of 75 who use PPIs on a regular basis had a 44 percent increased risk of dementia, compared with nonusers. Men were at greater risk, raising their dementia risk on average by 52 percent, compared to 42 percent for women.
Instead, Dr Mercola recommends a variety of non-drug alternatives, including aloe juice, raw apple cider vinegar, ginger root, baking soda and more.
He writes: “Ultimately, the answer to heartburn and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function and to do that, you need to address your gut health. The most important step is to eat real food, as processed foods and sugars are a surefire way to exacerbate acid reflux. Processed foods, especially sugar, also alter your gut microbiome and promote the overgrowth of harmful microbes. So be sure to eat lots of fresh vegetables and other unprocessed organic foods.
Reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria, either from traditionally fermented foods or a high-quality probiotic supplement is also important, as this will not only help balance your bowel flora, it can also help eliminate helicobacter bacteria naturally. Probiotics and fermented foods, especially fermented vegetables, also aid in proper digestion and assimilation of your food.”