This popular drug can destroy your liver
It's amazing how it happens.
A new drug hits the scene, takes the industry by storm, gets used by millions, and then -- years later -- the TRUE risks are exposed.
That's happening right now -- and it's happening with a class of drug so common that 1 in 20 American adults are on it at this very moment, and close to 1 in 4 have taken it at some point.
Millions of Americans with acid reflux turn to proton pump inhibitors for relief from the burning pain and outright agony of what feels like boiling oil bubbling up into the throat.
But a new study shows how that relief comes with a shocking price.
These drugs can destroy your liver!
And they do it in a way that's so quiet... and so hidden... that most doctors will never make a link between PPI drugs and the onset of liver disease.
Stomach acid isn't there to make you miserable. It's there to do some pretty important work -- more than just digesting your food.
We're constantly exposed to germs, but we're not always getting sick because our natural defenses -- including stomach acid -- wipe out bacteria before they can hurt us.
When a drug cuts those acid levels, however, germs can't be killed off as effectively -- and the researchers found an ugly new consequence.
Experiments on mice revealed that the low acid levels caused by PPIs allow one bug in particular -- which would normally be killed off -- to survive.
It's a germ called Enterococcus faecalis, and it's especially dangerous since it knows how to travel. It can make its way from the intestine to the liver, where it causes the dangerous inflammation that leads to fat accumulation right inside of the organ.
That leads to liver disease.
If you don't have the condition -- yet -- this germ could help set the stage for it.
If you're at risk, Enterococcus faecalis could be what pushes you over the edge.
And if you already have liver disease, turns out this could make it worse -- because the study didn't stop with mice.
Researchers also tested humans and found that those who were taking -- or had taken -- PPI drugs also had high levels of Enterococcus faecalis.
The link was so clear that the researchers behind the study are calling on docs to limit the drugs.
Considering the other risks -- including nutritional deficiencies, bone loss, and even death -- I certainly don't recommend them to my own patients.
There are better ways to gain control over problems with stomach acid, starting with comprehensive testing for food sensitivities from a holistic medical doctor.
If you're in the San Diego area, I can run those tests right here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.
Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.
And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!