Acid blockers known as Proton Pump Inhibitors, or simply PPIs (like Nexium and Prilosec), are the most common form of over-the-counter and prescription acid blockers. Now a new study out of Denmark shows that PPIs are a major risk factor for dementia.
In the study, researchers collected data on dementia diagnoses and prescription PPI use among two million Denmark citizens who were aged 60 to 65 approximately 20 years ago. Of those who had taken PPIs between those ages, incidence of a dementia diagnosis by age 90 was 36% higher than those who had not taken PPIs.
In another study, Curcumin (e.g., CuraMed® 750 mg 2x day) was as effective as PPIs, but caused side benefits instead of side effects. Pepcid, which is not a PPI, also did not have these toxicities and is much safer than PPIs.
This is hot on the heels of another study showing that curcumin, which is associated with a lower risk of dementia, is as effective as PPIs for relieving heartburn. Other non-PPIs such as chewable antacids like Rolaids, and the acid blocker Pepcid, are not associated with increased dementia risk. So these can be an easy fix.
The study authors explained, “PPIs pass through the blood-brain barrier, and their use has been associated with neurological adverse reactions such as migraine, peripheral neuropathies, and impairment of hearing, vision, and memory. A recent study showed that PPIs potently and selectively inhibit the enzyme responsible for biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (choline-acetyltransferase), and thereby may inhibit neuronal signaling in the brain.“
The bottom line is that indigestion reflects poor digestion, and poor digestion can be safely addressed in many ways that don't require using PPIs.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.