If you're struggling with acid reflux, indigestion, or peptic ulcers, you may be using antacid or acid-blocking drugs for relief.
While these medications may be necessary, they are not without some risks. Many recent studies have shown that taking them could (unknowingly) be the causing nutrient deficiencies!
How Do Antacids Work?
There are two main acid reflux medications. The first group, known as antacids, is available over-the-counter and provides symptomatic relief by neutralizing stomach acid. This includes Alka-Seltzer, Tums, Milk of Magnesia, Gaviscon, Gelusil, Rolaids, and Pepto-Bismol.
The second group contains prescription acid blockers that inhibit stomach acid production and secretion. These include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, and Pantoprazole; and Histamine 2 (H2) blockers like Pepcid, Tagamet, and Zantac.
The problem is you need stomach acid for optimal digestion. Your small intestine requires an acidic pH to absorb vitamins and minerals from your food.
Which Nutrients Are Depleted By Antacid Drugs?
By buffering or inhibiting stomach acid, antacids, H2 blockers, and PPIs can reduce the action of digestive enzymes. This can affect your ability to break down food, reducing the absorption of vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, iron, folic acid, and zinc.
Many people do not get enough essential nutrients from their diet anyway, so the extra stress caused by acid blockers can be devastating.
Take These Supplements with Antacid Medication
Taking the following supplements can help you avoid drug-induced nutrient depletions – especially if you've been taking antacids for a while.
P.S. Do not stop taking these or any medication unless directed by your healthcare provider.
Your body needs healthy levels of stomach acid to absorb B12! It activates certain digestive enzymes, which break down dietary proteins and release B12. So, when stomach acid is suppressed by long-term PPI and H2 blocker use, it creates vitamin B12 deficiency1.
We recommend taking MD Logic Health Vitamin B12 daily. It contains 5000 mcg of biologically active methylcobalamin per tablet. Our Methyl-Complete supplement is also a great option – it's a source of B12 and folic acid, which is also depleted by H2 antagonists.
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for consistent energy, strong bones, muscle relaxation, and quality sleep. If you're experiencing muscle cramps, insomnia, and anxiety as a result of taking antacids, this may be due to low magnesium levels.
Women need to get at least 320 mg of magnesium daily, while men should aim for 400-420 mg. PPIs deplete magnesium and make it hard to reach this daily goal2.
The good news is that a magnesium supplement can prevent deficiency. Take 250–400 mg of magnesium per day to support your well-being.
Some studies have shown a side-effect of H2 antagonists and PPIs is weakened bones, as these drugs impair calcium absorption in the gut. Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth, contracting muscles, and regulating blood pressure.
It's vital to supplement with 500 – 1000 mg of calcium daily and focus on eating more calcium-rich foods like dairy products, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This is especially important for post-menopausal women and elderly people who are at greater risk for bone fractures.
Keep in mind calcium works in synergy with vitamin D and magnesium. Bone Builder has a unique highly absorbed calcium along with D3, K2 and Magnesium shown to help your body utilize the minerals.
Acid blocking medications are known to deplete vitamin D3, which works alongside magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus to build strong bones and teeth. In fact, long-term use of PPIs may increase the risk of fractures3.
Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level – it should be between 30–70 ng/mL.
Our MD Logic Health Vitamin D3 offers a daily dose of 5000 IU per capsule to promote strong bones.
Antacid medication makes it difficult to absorb iron efficiently, particularly non-heme iron from plant foods. Speak to your doctor about checking your iron levels and taking a suitable daily supplement.
A daily dose of zinc is recommended for those taking PPIs and H2 blockers. Research shows that they reduce blood zinc levels by as much as 40%2. By depleting zinc, these medications may impair immunity, wound healing, and fertility.
MD Logic Health Zin-C Logic Plus contains 25mg of triple potency zinc along with Vitamin C, ideal for supporting skin health and strong immunity. Our ZMA supplement also contains bioavailable zinc blended with magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6.
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
If you're struggling with acid reflux and indigestion, taking a digestive enzyme supplement with meals can provide much-needed support. The enzymes help to break down and extract nutrition from fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
Finally, a probiotic supplement can enhance digestive system health. It may help to reduce the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut that often occurs due to low stomach acid from taking antacids long-term.
Protect Your Health by Supplementing
If you've been feeling out of sorts since starting antacid medication, it could be the result of nutrient depletion. At MD Logic Health, our professionally designed nutritional supplements can help you feel better and protect your health!
Keep an eye out for more articles from us about drug-induced nutrient deficiencies.