One common side effect from taking a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) is osteoporosis or fractures. But have you ever asked yourself why? (1)
Long-term use of PPI’s causes Hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid). We need proper levels of stomach acid to break down and absorb magnesium, calcium, and B12. Gastric acid and pepsin are essential to liberate vitamins and minerals from the proteins in food that bind it tightly. With less stomach acid comes less absorption of vital nutrients. Low magnesium levels can inhibit vitamin D and calcium homeostasis in bones. Therefore leading to osteoporosis.
Ok, so what do we do now?
You know what I’m going to say….
#1: Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition!
Take your favorite foods that are causing you heartburn and find healthier ways to make them. Fried foods can easily be converted into baked or air-fried foods.
Pizza can become a healthy weekly meal with the proper substitutions of crust and toppings.
Limit alcohol and caffeine until your gastric acid is back to normal.
Increase your consumption of fermented vegetables. Fermented vegetables and foods have probiotic effects that can improve digestion, fight harmful bacteria and reduce inflammation from low stomach acid.
HCL and Pepsin supplements: People with low levels of stomach acid may benefit from taking HCL supplements. Digestive enzyme supplements that also contain pepsin may be especially beneficial for older adults. (2)
Apple Cider Vinegar is a fermented liquid made from crushed apples, bacteria, and yeast. It’s rich in protein and enzymes that can help break down bacteria in food. Raw apple cider vinegar can increase stomach acid levels because its acidic properties introduce more acid into the digestive tract. (3)
Ginger has been widely studied for its ability to help with gastric emptying and reducing inflammation in the GI system which can be caused by poor diet and pharmaceuticals. (4)
#3: Traditional Chinese Medicine:
Acupuncture, Herbs, and TCM Food Therapy are always amazing at helping control digestion of foods and easing heartburn symptoms, gas and bloating. (5)
#4: Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation. Once your digestion is back to full absorption mode, you should start supplementing vitamins and minerals to help gets your nutrients levels back up.