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Heartburn Drugs May Raise Risk of Stomach Infections: Study

If you think those proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) you’re taking for stomach problems are helping you, think again. While they may provide short-term relief for heartburn, they are putting you in danger of acquiring some serious gut infections in the long run, according to a study of 565,000 adults. Two of the worst infections are C. difficile and Campylobacter bacteria, CBS News reports.

Other PPIs include Prilosec, Pepcid and Tagamet, and they’re all available over-the-counter, making them among the most widely used drugs in the nation. I’ve warned for years that PPIs can cause more health problems than they fix. Research has linked PPIs to kidney disease, dementia, heart attack, overgrowth of bacteria, infections, bone fractures and the fastest growing type of esophageal cancer.

PPIs are designed to reduce stomach acid. However, they don’t specifically target the cells in your stomach, and stomach acid is usually not the primary trigger behind chronic heartburn, anyway.

It’s been known for some time that PPIs used long-term encourage bacterial overgrowth in your gut and impair the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients. They also decrease your body’s resistance to infection, some of it quite serious and difficult to treat, as the aforementioned study found.

The answer to heartburn and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function. To do that, eat lots of vegetables and other high-quality, ideally organic, unprocessed foods, and make sure you're getting enough beneficial bacteria from your diet by regularly consuming fermented foods. Also, although it seems counterintuitive, you need to take apple cider vinegar to help restore your gut’s gastric balance.
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