by Scott Davis / Aug 16, 2020
The use of specific acid reflux drugs has increased significantly in the past few years, and so has the occurrence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
A new study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia now shows that people using these drugs are a scary 44% more likely than the general population to develop these two forms of cognitive decline.
Unfortunately, these are the most commonly-used heartburn medications on the market, used by millions of people every day.
In 2013, American scientists surveyed the prevalence of PPI (proton pump inhibitor) use in the American population, concluding that it had increased from 4% to 9.2% between 2002 and 2009. The study was published in the journal PLoS One, and one dreads to think what the prevalence is today.
JAMA Neurology ran an article in 2016 that showed that PPI users were more likely than the general population to develop dementia.
The authors mined data collected by the largest German statutory health insurer, Allgemeine Ortskrankenkassen, on PPI use and dementia between 2004 and 2011.
Those who were prescribed regular PPIs were 44% more likely to develop dementia than those who received no or very few PPIs.
The authors of the new study in Alzheimer’s & Dementia decided to investigate why PPIs seem to have this negative effect on cognitive function.
Since it would’ve been difficult to study chemicals and neurotransmitters in the bodies of real people and definitively link them to PPI use, the scientists decided to apply PPIs to human tissue and cells in the laboratory. They also used 3D computer simulations to test their hypothesis.
They started from the well-established fact that people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have very low levels of the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays a crucial role in passing signals between cells in your nervous system, which explains in part the deterioration in brain function with these cognitive disorders.
They first demonstrated that six different PPIs could bind to an enzyme called choline acetyltransferase. This enzyme produces acetylcholine.
They then showed that these enzymes are substantially less effective after a PPI binds to them, meaning that they can no longer produce enough or any acetylcholine.
The PPIs with the strongest binding inhibited these enzymes the most, causing the lowest production of acetylcholine.
The active PPI ingredients omeprazole, esomeprazole, tenatoprazole, and rabeprazole had the strongest inhibitory effect on the production of acetylcholine, while pantoprazole and lansoprazole were bad, but not as bad.
This is just one of many studies suggesting an increased risk due to PPI. Other studies have linked PPI to anything from several types of cancers to stroke and heart attack.
The bottom line is that you want to avoid acid reflux drugs altogether.
Fortunately, it’s quite easy to permanently eliminate acid reflux using three ingredients you already have in your home. I explain this here…