From Heartburn to Heart Trouble in One Easy Step
Heartburn and acid back-up can make you miserable. The pressure, burning and pain can make it tough to focus on anything else. So the promise of a pill that can take away all the discomfort sounded great.
When these pills arrived, they seemed like a dream come true. People started taking them like candy. By 2009, sales had grown to $13 billion – the #3 top-selling pills in the U.S.
I’ve written to you before about a serious problem with these pills. They work by shutting down production of stomach acid. This is sort of like saving a leaky ship by draining the ocean. The ship doesn’t leak any more… but it doesn’t move, either.
When you slow production of stomach acid, it can stop your heartburn. But it can also make it harder to digest your food. And that’s a serious problem for the millions of mature adults whose bodies already don’t make enough stomach acid.
As if that weren’t bad enough, researchers in Houston recently found another problem with these acid-blocking pills. They may also block production of nitric oxide (NO).
NO is the chemical your body makes to keep your arteries flexible. The cells lining your blood vessels – called endothelial cells – release NO, which makes arteries more flexible. And flexible arteries promote healthy blood pressure and good circulation.
In animal studies, subjects given common acid-blockers wound up with arteries 30% stiffer than those who didn’t get the pills.
The Houston team has also tested acid-blockers on human endothelial cells. And the pills had the same effect on human cells as in their animal tests.1
The researchers point out this isn’t the first study to suggest these pills may put heart-health at risk. Earlier studies have linked them to a higher risk for people with existing heart issues.
If regular use could lower your body’s ability to make NO, these pills don’t seem to be a good idea for anyone. Fortunately, you can often avoid the discomfort of heartburn and other acid problems with some simple tricks.
- Lose weight. For many people, just losing a few pounds puts an end to their acid problems. This solution also boosts your health in many other ways.
- Raise the head of your bed. This home remedy has given many acid sufferers back their good nights’ sleep. One brick under each leg at the head of your bed may do the trick.
- Chew gum. Chewing a stick of sugarless gum for a half-hour or so after eating works very well for many people.
To keep acid problems at bay, try these tricks, too:
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and high-acid foods.
- Eat earlier in the evening and don’t snack before bed.
- Get regular exercise.
Finally to promote healthy digestion, try nutritional supplements such as digestive enzymes or probiotics.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Ghebremariam, Y.T., et al, “An Unexpected Effect of Proton Pump Inhibitors: Elevation of the Cardiovascular Risk Factor ADMA,” Circulation. Jul 3, 2013. Published online before print.
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