Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked to Dementia

Do you get heartburn, indigestion, have an ulcer or have GERD?
If you are taking medication for it, you are most likely taking a Proton Pump Inhibitor.

There is a link between medications called Proton Pump Inhibitors, which are used to treat heartburn and peptic ulcers and other acid related disorders – and Dementia. This has been confirmed by a new study from the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn, Germany. It was recently published in JAMA Neurology by Willy Gomm PhD and colleagues.

This is of great importance to many people not only the elderly, as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s) are one of the most frequently prescribed medications around and use of these types of medications has been increasing sharply.

According to other research, up to 70% of all Proton Pump Inhibitor prescriptions are being over-prescribed and could be inappropriate.

The analysis included 73,679 people aged 75 years of age or older who did not have dementia initially at the beginning of the study. Over the course of the study, from 2004 to 2011, 29,510 people were diagnosed with dementia. And more than half (59.0%) of those people had a diagnosis of at least two different types of dementia.

The researchers analysed the three most prescribed Proton Pump Inhibitors which are Omeprazole, Pantoprazole and Esomeprazoleand found similar results.

The study also found that having Diabetes and being prescribed five or more medications other than the Proton Pump Inhibitors, were also associated with significantly elevated dementia risk.

Although this study did not include Vitamin B12 levels, there is other research that has linked Proton Pump Inhibitor(PPI) use to Vitamin B12 Deficiency, which has been shown to be associated with cognitive decline.

It is important to be aware that if you are having heartburn, indigestion or other acid related disorders of the upper gastrointestinal tract, that the above named Proton Pump Inhibitor medications should really be avoided.

How does Heartburn occur?
It often occurs when hydrochloric acid, which is used by the stomach to digest food, backs up into the esophagus (the tube between the throat and stomach) causing sensitive tissues to become irritated.

Normally, the esophageal sphincter muscle pinches itself shut and prevents the stomach acid from surging upwards. However, if the sphincter is not functioning properly, the acid can slip past it and into the esophagus. This is called Gastro-esophageal reflux disease – GERD.
Here are a few suggestions for you that may help in order to avoid taking these medications:

1. Do not consume carbonated drinks, fats, fried foods, processed foods, tomatoes, onions, caffeine products or sugar.

2. Sip 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, mixed with a glass of water, while eating a meal. Do not drink any other liquids with meals.