Why heartburn meds set you up for a heart attack

Medical science has come up with some amazing medicines. Some others… not so great. Take protein pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec and Nexium, which combat heartburn… these drugs are effective, but not without a dangerous catch…

Over the years, a number of studies have shown that PPIs dramatically increase the risk of having a heart attack, but nobody really knew the cause. Now, a new study from researchers at Houston Methodist has figured it out.

The answer was hiding in plain sight. The stomach isn’t the only place our bodies produce acid. Structures in cells called lysosomes, which remove waste from cells, use it as well. Turns out, PPIs limit the acid produced by lysosomes, meaning toxins can buildup, blood vessel cells can age faster and heart disease risk can increase.

Real solutions

These findings really underscore the need to consider safe and effective alternative solutions for chronic health conditions. Pharmaceutical, and even over-the-counter, drugs are powerful chemical compounds that are best used only when necessary. Certainly, in the case of PPIs, we have many other ways to combat heartburn and other digestive issues without causing harm. Here are a few examples from the botanical pharmacopeia:

  • Oregano is quite alkaline, making it ideal to fight acid. The herb can also help control digestive inflammation.
  • Rosemary can help against indigestion, gas and constipation.
  • Lavender has a calming effect, which supports healthy digestion.
  • Peppermint can treat diarrhea, indigestion and gas.
  • Thyme has antiviral properties, which can be quite helpful when combating a stomach virus.
  • Sage helps the stomach digest protein and can also control gas.

I also recommend digestive enzymes, such as alpha-galactosidase, amylase and lipase, which support digestion and nutrient absorption. The minerals zinc and chromium reduce inflammation and medicinal mushrooms support both immunity and digestion.


It’s also important to address the things you might do on a regular basis that could undermine your gastrointestinal health…

Processed foods, alcohol, sugar, rich foods and caffeine can all contribute to stomach upset. In addition, many people have trouble digesting red meat, dairy, gluten, soy and other foods. Take a good hard look at your diet and start excluding specific items starting with those listed above that commonly cause problems. Add them back one at a time over a period of a few days each, and pay attention to how your stomach feels after eating them.

Also, make sure you get plenty of activity. At the very least, walk 30 minutes each day. This will help increase metabolism and support digestive function. Exercise is also a great way to reduce stress, which can also contribute to gastrointestinal issues. You may also choose meditation, yoga, Tai Chi or another mindfulness-based practice.

Digestive supplements

One of the best natural ways to support digestion for both occasional upset stomach as well as long term digestive function is with digestive support supplements.

Certain combinations of herbs, botanicals, minerals and digestive enzymes can help rebuild digestion and overall gastrointestinal health. Traditional Chinese herbs, such as tangerine fruit, ginger root, henon bamboo herb and sacred lotus seed, together with zinc and chromium, medicinal mushrooms and other botanicals, are great for digestive health.

If you feel the need to take an antacid every day, or every couple of days, it’s probably a sign that something is fundamentally imbalanced within your gastrointestinal tract. By adjusting diet, increasing exercise, embracing stress reduction and adding in digestion-supporting botanicals, you should be able to overcome heartburn and other issues without the risky drugs.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25 cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To find out about these and more, click here for the report your doctor hasn’t told you about!

Dr. Isaac Eliaz

By Dr. Isaac Eliaz

Dr. Isaac Eliaz is a renowned integrative medical doctor, licensed acupuncturist, researcher, product formulator and frequent guest lecturer. He has been a pioneer in holistic medicine since the early 1980s, and has published numerous peer-reviewed research papers on several of his key integrative health formulas. He is the founder and medical director of Amitabha Clinic in California, an integrative health center specializing in cancer and chronic conditions. Dr. Eliaz is an expert in using highly strategic, synergistic protocols to address numerous areas of health including metastatic cancer, immunity, digestion, detoxification, diabetes, cardiovascular health and more. His approach integrates modern science with traditional healing wisdom for optimal health and wellness. To download any of Dr. Eliaz's comprehensive wellness guides, click here.