Yesterday, I shared yet another lethal risk linked with regular use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)—a common class of heartburn drugs.
And today, I want to issue one more dire warning: It’s not just a higher risk of diabetes—or bone loss, or dementia, or cancer—that you have to worry about when you fill one of these hazardous prescriptions.
Because recent research shows it could raise your risk of contracting COVID-19, too…
Daily use doubles odds of infection
Researchers launched an online survey of more than 250,000 Americans between May and June of this year, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants were all 18 years or older and answered questions about gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms—including reflux and heartburn—while reporting their use of antacids (both PPIs and H2-receptor antagonists).
They also reported whether or not they had tested positive for COVID-19. And when researchers sat down to analyze this data, let’s just say that some disturbing trends emerged…
For one, just over six percent of this subject pool reported a positive COVID-19 test. And even after adjusting for age, comorbidities, and other factors that might sway the data, results still found that using PPIs once daily more than doubled the odds of falling into this category… while using them twice daily more than tripled the risk.
(It’s worth noting that H2-receptor antagonists didn’t appear to carry the same risk. But there’s no shortage of reasons to avoid those drugs, too.)
The American Journal of Gastroenterology published this report in the late summer. And while its findings are disturbing, I can’t say they’re surprising…
Low acid, high risk
Just think about it: gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—or “heartburn”— disproportionately affects older people. Yet, this same portion of the population has significantly lower levels of stomach acid—not higher.
In fact, hydrochloric acid (HCl) production can plummet as much as 75 percent with age. And the symptoms of this should sound very familiar: indigestion, bloating, and, you guessed it, heartburn.
Needless to say, acid-blocking drugs only make things worse… much worse.
But that’s not all. Low HCl also interferes with your body’s ability to fend off harmful bacteria and viruses. Which is one reason why acid blockers have been linked to a higher risk of viral gastroenteritis, or the “stomach flu.”
So… you can probably guess where I’m going with this.
The novel coronavirus relies on receptors in the GI tract to replicate within the body. And researchers speculate that the higher pH environment (created by one’s age and PPI use) could allow the virus to gain a foothold in the body more easily.
Once again, this is just one study—and correlation isn’t causation. But especially given all the other risks on the table, is it really worth rolling the dice on a class of drugs that doesn’t even address the real root of your reflux?
Well, you already know my answer. Chronic heartburn is a true health hazard—and there are better, safer ways to address it… without risking life and limb for relief.
P.S. This Sunday, October 25th at 3PM-EDT, I’ll be hosting an exclusive Ultimate Heart Summit. During this LIVE event, I’ll reveal clinical research on natural solutions from all around the world shown to be effective in preventing and fighting America’s biggest killers—like high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. But hurry! Space is limited… click here to reserve your spot today!
“Could Proton Pump Inhibitors Increase COVID-19 Risk?” MedPage Today, 07/09/2020. (medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/87495)