Even today, they are often prescribed: the so-called gastric acid blockers, also called PPIs(proton pump inhibitors).
People with heartburn or those with reflux are the classic patients for them – but often also patients with irritable stomach and intestines. The drugs are intended to curb stomach acid production and thus provide patients with relief. Unfortunately, however, their effect often does not occur as desired and, tragically, the dose is therefore often increased unquestioninglyand the duration of intake extended.
16% increased risk of heart attack
This blog post already describes some of the negative effects of long-term use of gastric acid blockers/PPIs. Neurologist David Perlmutter draws attention to two other serious consequences of long-term use of gastric acid blockers: for a 2015 study by Stanford University1)the medical data of 3 million people were analyzed. Conclusion: the risk of heart attack in patients with sustained PPI use increased by 16%!
44% increased risk of dementia
A second study from 20162)observed 70,000 seniors (75-years-old or older; without dementia at the beginning of the study) for about five and a half years. Result: In people who regularly swallowed stomach acid blockers, the risk of developing dementia increased by 44%!
Cayenne pepper as an alternative
These facts speak a clear language. But: is there an alternative to PPIs? Yes, there is. Nature has it ready for us: cayenne pepper, or more precisely the capsaicin it contains. This stimulates the production of mucus for the protective mucus layer over the stomach lining, instead of curbing stomach acid production (with all the resulting negative consequences). However, it is important to slowly taper off the stomach acid blockers! (See also link above.)
Proton Pump Inhibitor Usage and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction in the General Population
Association of Proton Pump Inhibitors With Risk of Dementia