Have Heartburn? Taking an antacid? –> Proton pump inhibitors like Nexium and Prilosec can increase the risk for dementia by reducing synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Newly Discovered Mechanism Can Explain Increased Risk Of Dementia, Eurekalert, 8 May 2020
As a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine is needed for passing signals among nerve cells, but this only works if enough of the substance is produced. The simulations showed that all the tested drugs were able to bind with the enzyme.
The researchers then analysed the effect of this binding. They found that all the drugs inhibited the enzyme, resulting in a reduced production of acetylcholine, where the stronger the binding, the stronger the inhibitory effect. Drugs based on the active substances omeprazole [Prilosec], esomeprazole [Nexium], tenatoprazole and rabeprazole [AcipHex] had the greatest affinity and were therefore the strongest inhibitors of the enzyme.
Proton pump inhibitors act with unprecedented potencies as inhibitors of the acetylcholine biosynthesizing enzyme—A plausible missing link for their association with incidence of dementia, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, 8 May 2020
Several pharmacoepidemiological studies indicate that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) significantly increase the risk of dementia. Yet, the underlying mechanism is not known. Here, we report the discovery of an unprecedented mode of action of PPIs that explains how PPIs may increase the risk of dementia.
Given that accumulating evidence points at cholinergic dysfunction as a driving force of major dementia disorders, our findings mechanistically explain how prolonged use of PPIs may increase incidence of dementia.
Now, see, this is a big deal. And it’s not the first study to show the link (see below). But the pharmaceutical industry has been shutting it down (I saw a meta-analysis yesterday to that effect, their product is doubt) because they make a lot of money on the sale of antacids. And mainstream media isn’t picking it up either because they are supported through advertising by drug companies.
The big reason, to me at least, why people won’t care is that there is such a lag time between taking antacids and being diagnosed with dementia. (Although people show memory loss in as little as 10 days, see below.) People will say, “Oh, that’s hogwash. I feel fine.” But, you know what? It’s a big deal.
Chronic heartburn can be effectively treated with a change in diet.
A large population study in JAMA Neurology showed that people who use PPIs also ran a higher risk of dementia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26882076
A study in Alzheimers Research & Therapy showed that healthy young individuals who took PPIs for ten days performed worse on memory tests than previously, compared with a placebo group. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26714488
According to a study published in PLOS ONE the use of PPIs in the population more than doubled from 4 to 9.2 percent between 2002 and 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23418510