Nutrient Depletion: Acid Blockers

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One of the most prescribed categories of drugs is acid blockers. These include Pepcid and Prevacid. Used to treat heartburn, gastric (stomach) ulcers, duodenal (intestinal) ulcers, reflux esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), these drugs can also have a slew of side effects, many of which are associated with nutritional deficiencies.

Here are some of the nutrients that you may be deficient in if you are taking an acid blocker.

  • Iron – Stomach acid is needed for iron absorption and people with ulcers may be iron deficient due to blood loss.
  • Vitamin B12 – Decreased secretion of stomach acid and pepsin impairs absorption of cobalamin. 
  • Folic acid – Changes in acid-alkaline balance in the gastrointestinal tract can impair folic acid absorption and availability.
  • Calcium – Decreased absorption and transport of calcium.
  • Zinc – Decreased stomach acid impairs zinc’s absorption and availability.
  • Because acid blockers alter gut pH, they can interfere with the absorption of all nutrients.

So, you might want to consider taking a high-quality multivitamin to offer some protection against these deficiencies.

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March 2023