Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) kill stomach acid by inhibiting the proton pump in the parietal cells of the stomach. Proton pump inhibitors IRREVERSIBLY block the hydrogen/potassium ATPase enzyme system, AKA the gastric proton pump. However, these drugs also knock out other proton pumps throughout the body.
As you might expect, the ATPase pump is a MAGNESIUM-dependent enzyme system. It secretes protons into the gastric fluid making it acidic. But if you have magnesium deficiency, the pump can’t function properly. In 2011 the FDA warned the public that PPIs cause magnesium deficiency. So, in effect you have a drug that works by depleting the most important mineral in the body. A mineral that is necessary for the activation and function of 700-800 enzyme systems. A mineral that catalyzes most of the chemical reactions in the body; that synthesizes protein; stabilizes RNA and DNA; transmits nerve signals; relaxes muscles whereas calcium contracts muscles. And it produces and transports energy called ATP.
PPIs are one of the most prescribed classes of drugs in the world, in spite of the mounting side effects and warnings by researchers about the following risks and complications.
- PPIs drastically alter intestinal flora by changing stomach pH.
- Lowering stomach pH impairs nutrient absorption negatively impacting bone health. Magnesium is one of the nutrients most affected.
- PPIs increase the risk of cardiovascular events by reducing magnesium and nitric oxide, and damaging endothelial cells in blood vessels.
- PPIs inhibit lysosomes, which are responsible for removing waste products from the cytoplasm of cells. Lysosomes in endothelial cells also have proton pumps that produce the acid necessary to break down protein waste. Protein waste accumulating in cells leads to aging and death, which explains the increased incidence of vascular dementia, myocardial infarction and renal disease with the use of PPIs.
- PPIs harm the kidneys causing both acute and chronic kidney disease partly by destroying kidney proton pumps that regulate pH by reabsorbing bicarbonate.
- PPIs negatively affect cognitive function by crossing the blood-brain barrier and potentially increasing levels of amyloid β plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Proton pumps aid the necessary communication between brain cells, which is disrupted when PPIs kill these pumps.
- PPIs can actually worsen stomach pain, the very symptom they are trying to control.
- PPI withdrawal can lead to rebound reflux.
As with so many aspects of health, magnesium plays a pivotal role in balancing gastric function. To make sure you health and your magnesium are in balance, you can google my name and the types of magnesium that I recommend.
One of my references for this blog is an article by Chris Kresser called The Dangers of Proton Pump Inhibitors.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to: email@example.com.