You can’t open a magazine these days or watch television without seeing an ad for “the purple pill”, Nexium. The original purple pill, Prilosec, was the number one selling prescription drug in 2001.
Both Nexium and Prilosec are what we call proton pump inhibitor (PPI). Prilosec is the original proton pump inhibitor that functions by disabling the protein in your stomach that pumps hydrogen ions (H+ ions) into gastric juices. Basically the PPIs can increase the pH of the stomach from 1 to 5. That means acid production is effectively ceased by these drugs. When the patent for prilosec expired, Nexium was introduced with much fanfare. The FDA approval was based on the argument that Nexium was more effective than Prilosec.
Now for the chemistry trivia: Nexium is exactly the same molecule as Prilosec!
To understand the relationship between Nexium and Prilosec let me review a little chemistry. First, prilosec or omeprazole as it is known generically, is a racemic compound. You need to know that many organic molecules come in mirror-pairs. The molecules have exactly the same structure, but are mirror images of each other. Your hands are a good example of this kind of mirror pairing, and in fact the chemical term describing this phenomenon, chirality, comes from the Greek for hand. That means it is a combination of two chemically identical compounds but one has a different chirality, or handedness, from the other. It just so happens that one of the handed molecules (or as they call it in chemistry, enantiomers) in prilosec is the active drug, and the other enantiomeris inert.
It does nothing.
What is the Problem with PPIs?
Both Nexium and Prilosec stop the stomach cells from producing acid needed to digest food, promote nutrient absorption and kill unwanted bugs. Stopping the pain associated with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) may be a temporary blessing for the one suffering with this condition. But I ask, at what cost to one’s overall health? You see, these drugs act as fertilizer for everyday bugs that then go on to raise havoc. When prescribed for hospitalized patients, they increase pneumonia 30%. Unfortunately, this is what lots of people die from once they end up in the hospital. PPIs have been found to decrease magnesium in the human body to a point that not even high oral doses of magnesium can correct it.
The Apple Cider Vinegar Test
1 Tablespoon of bragg’s apple cider vinegar with 6-8 oz. of water used after meals for indigestion and acid reflux symptoms. If it helps your stomach you need more acid to help you digest your food. If it hurts your stomach or makes the symptoms worse there is a good likelihood of gastritis (Stomach inflammation) or ulcer type problems.
Let Dr. Tent or Dr. Jeff know your results so we can further help you out.
80-90% of individuals on PPI’s have hypochlorhydria (Low stomach acid). Your stomach is your number one line of defense for your gastrointestinal system. 80% of your immunity is through the gut. Mineral and B12 deficiency are very common because of these medications.