PPIs Prematurely Age Blood Vessels
Proton pump inhibitors are over-the-counter medication that a lot of people use to gain relief from the discomfort of heartburn. For a while now, medical experts have been warning that these drugs might pose some danger to the human body, especially when they are used over a long period of time.
However, there was never any solid reason to take these warnings to heart, at least until now. Studies have emerged to demonstrate a link between proton pump inhibitors and a number of health complications.
Heartburn occurs when acid from the stomach climbs up into the esophagus. This condition is very discomforting, and proton pump inhibitors clear up the symptoms quite quickly. PPIs are very popular, especially in the USA, with Nexium being one of the most commonly purchased of these proton pump inhibitors.
Not only the drugs like Nexium are so effective at relieving reflux but they can also be acquired without a prescription. It should be noted that the FDA never approved PPIs for long-term use.
Medical experts have attempted to link the long-term use of PPIs to diseases like dementia and heart disease. And while they have succeeded in demonstrating correlation, no study has ever truly succeeded in showing causation until now.
In a study published in the Circulation Research Journal, Doctor John P. Cooke (Houston Methodist Research Insitute) attempted to explore the molecular mechanisms that led PPI use to induce negative side effects.
The focus was placed upon Nexium and another PPI, with the study eventually determining that prolonged use of PPIs caused the premature biological aging of the endothelial cells that line the interior of the blood vessels.
When they are consumed, PPIs work to inhibit the production of acid in the parietal cells of the stomach. By binding to the gastric proton pump, PPIs completely stop gastric acid production.
Unfortunately, the parietal cells are not the only acid producing cells that PPIs alter.
Lysosomes are responsible for clearing up cellular garbage and breaking it down using acids. If debris is allowed to accumulate, cells begin aging faster.
Proton Pump Inhibitors prevent Lysosomes from producing the necessary supplies of acid they require to perform their tasks; that diminishes their ability to remove rubbish which in turn causes cells to age prematurely.
Doctor Cooke wants the relevant authorities to use these results as an incentive to control the use of PPIs. As far as Cooke is concerned, PPIs should be restricted to short-term use to relieve symptoms unless otherwise indicated.