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The Dangers Of Regular Antacid Use

Why You Need Stomach Acid and What Happens When You Neutralize It

The body’s gastrointestinal system-also called the GI system, GI tract, or digestive system-is one of the most fascinating systems in the human body. Not only is the GI system responsible for the entry and exit of food, water, and nutrients, but it also plays a key role in a number of body functions.

These include energy production, blood flow, nerve signaling (the body’s nerve communication system), hormone control, metabolic reactions, and detoxification. In addition, the GI system is one of the largest disease- battling, or immune, systems in your body.

Stomach acid is critical to the bodies overall health. It protects the body from infection, breaks down food clumps so the vital nutrients can be absorbed, and triggers the lower oesophageal sphincter to close, thus preventing reflux and heartburn. The importance of stomach acid is well-documented. Your body needs stomach acid for a lot of good reasons

Stomach acid plays an essential role in the immune system by killing harmful bacteria and parasites that are ingested with food

Stomach acid activates the enzyme pepsin needed for protein digestion

Stomach acid signals to the pancreas produce digestive juices and enzymes to further break down food

Stomach acid initiates peristalsis, the rhythmic contractions of the intestines, that crush and move the food through the GI tract

Stomach acid is essential for the absorption of Vitamin B12 which plays key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and in the formation of blood.

Stomach acid performs an essential digestive function by reducing food clumps (bolus) into smaller particles (chyme), so that the intestines can absorb nutrients quickly and effectively.

The effect of suppressing stomach acidity with drugs is to decrease nutrient absorption to such a degree that there can be long term health consequences. In the process you are also compromising an essential part of your immune system. Stomach acid kills harmful microbes on contact but without it these intruders can flourish. The longer the duration of acid suppression the higher the risk of harmful effects.

How does our intestinal tract tell us something is wrong?

It tell us something is wrong and needs addressing by causing symptoms of nausea, heartburn, acid indigestion, burping, cramps, diarrhea, constipation ion, blood and mucus. These symptoms are the only way the gut can tell us that we have an issue that’s needs addressing, and if we do not find the CAUSE then the problem will worsen.

The gastrointestinal tract (GI) involves everything from the mouth to the rectum, including the digestive juices from the mouth salivary glands. More often than not, the standard tests for chronic gas, bloating and indigestion consists of scoping the gut beginning with oesophagoscopy, gastroscopy and even duodenoscopy.

A more extensive search can reach into the other end with a sigmoidoscopy or further up with a colonoscopy. When everything looks normal, a diagnosis of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or IBD (inflammatory bowel disease is usually made.

Most are told nothing can be done and to learn to live with the condition. This is not true as you can see by the many testimonials on our site.

The problem with conventional tests is that they are rather limited, as they do not tell you how well you are digesting your food or how effectively you are absorbing nutrients. The standard tests also fail to evaluate the digestive functions as a whole. This is because standard tests ignore function and tend to focus on lesions like ulcers, colitis or cancers.

However, if we look at the secretions from the GI tract we can soon see the gut is a highly integrated system and our whole health really depends on the synergistic action of the gut and GI tract secretions.

Do you know that the digestive process starts with the eyes, nose and brain and that how you sense and think about food affects how you digest it?

Do you know that if you eat food under stressful conditions you are likely to become mired in indigestion?

Stress, along with many other causative factors, can cause a bolus of food to sit in your stomach unable to move along to the small intestine. Here it will ferment and decay allowing noxious gasses to rise up the oesophagus and cause belching and bad breath.

Over time, as the bolus of food and ballooning gasses distend the oesophagus, the protective valve between the stomach and oesophagus can stretch and leak. Gasses now trapped in the oesophagus will give that familiar agony of retrosternal (behind the breastbone) agony of heartburn. Add to that the back-flow of undigested food mixed with the sharply imitating stomach acids and your pain may increase to the point where breathing becomes difficult.

As this fermenting decaying mass slides slowly long the gut, you can suffer more abdominal bloating and cramps which eventually turn into diarrhea or constipation.

While many commercials for antacids boast of immediate relief from symptoms they can and do create a spectrum of other issues.

Antacids contain aluminum which accumulates in the brain.

Scientists have known for over two decades that the aluminum left over from consumption of antacids (Kaehny) finally accumulates in brain enzymes.

Once there the aluminum wreaks havoc (Banks) by shriveling the brain structure into a non-functioning tangled mess (Perl 1980 1990) which scientists call neurofibrillary tangles.

H2 blockers, commonly taken for GERDS or reflux work differently to antacids. H2 receptor blockers work by thwarting histamine action in parietal cells (cells in the stomach) and reducing acid production by those cells.

The problem with H2 blockers is that they interfere with the body’s ability to detoxify common pesticide and chemicals. If we can’t detox these chemicals we end up damaging the mitochondria, our cells batteries, which in turn can cause of chronic fatigue.

The fact that H2-blockers vie for the same detoxification enzymes is common knowledge in medicine. H2-blockers and antacids do not fix the problem, they merely mask it. When we take antacids we miss a chance to find out and fix what’s wrong before it gets worse.

When we suppress or hide the guts warning symptoms, we can pay a hefty price.

Shutting down or turning off a normal physiologic function of the body.
The true cause of the symptom continues to worsen.
Detrimental, often unlinked, side effects of non-prescription drugs.

Along with Candida, heartburn is one of the most common issues I see at my practice both here and in Thailand. It has also proven to be one of the easiest resolved with most client’s symptom free after one month.


Banks WA, et al. Aluminum increases permeability for the blood brain-barrier to labelled DSIP and beta-endorphin: possible implications for senile and dialysis dementias. Lancet 1983; 26:1227-1279

Kaehny WD, et al. Gastrointestinal absorption of aluminum from aluminum containing antacids. New Eng J Med 977 296:1989-1390

Perl DP, Brody AR. Alzheimer’s disease: x-ray spectro-metric evidence of aluminum accumulation in neurofibrillary bearing neurons. Sci 1980:297-299 Detection of aluminum by semi x-ray spectrometry with neurofibrillary tangle-bearing neurons of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurotox 1990: 133-137