A recently released government statement states that some people using proton pump inhibitors for more than a year may end up with low magnesium levels.  Low magnesium can be life threatening but it can also just be tiring and painful. Magnesium helps block over active muscle cramping and reduces headaches and diabetic nerve pain. It is essential for white blood cell function and prevention of osteoporosis.
The proton pump inhibitor medications may be inhibiting the active absorption of magnesium in the intestines in some individuals. In other words, the drug may be blocking proton pumps in the intestinal cell membrane that are necessary to actively move magnesium from the intestines into the cell. Some people were not able to improve their magnesium levels with supplements until after the medication was stopped. Magnesium levels dropped again when the medication was re-started.
If you are having symptoms then a magnesium foot soak or bath in Epsom salts can bypass the intestinal absorption problems and provide some relief- while you are working on stopping the medication with your medical provider. Magnesium containing skin creams like the Ahava line may also provide relief. (I still like the body lotion but had to stop the face product – sensitivity reaction).
I have recently started using a Magnesium Glycinate supplement that I found at my local Food Coop . The tablet is quite large and sweet because it is a glyco-compound which should help it dissolve and absorb better. (See my blogs about the glycocalyx for more information about benefits of glyco-nutrients.) However it is more expensive than my mixed magnesium caplet, which contains magnesium oxide, citrate and malate. The only negative side effect that may occur with magnesium supplements is temporary loose stools (not explosive diarrhea, unless it was a really big dose like Milk of Magnesia, just really soft BM). The glycinate form may not trigger the smooth muscle fiber relaxation the way the free ions would. It is the rapid relaxation of the intestinal muscle lining that can trigger diarrhea/loose stools, so the magnesium glycinate may cost a bit more ($17 vs $6) but if it is better absorbed and is less likely to cause side effects than it seems like a fair deal.
Click here to read more about magnesium and how six dollars a month could restore more function while reducing symptoms (aka side effects of dysfunction)
- Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm1
- Download form2 or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178
2. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/738442, PPI-Related Hypomagnesemia: Putting it in Perspective, David A. Johnson, MD, Posted: 03/07/2011, From: Medscape Gastroenterology > Johnson on Gastroenterology
3. http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/20/11/2291.long Kevin J. Martin, Esther A. González and Eduardo Slatopolsky, Clinical Consequences and Management of Hypomagnesemia, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2007111194 (JASN November 1, 2009 vol. 20 no. 11 2291-2295)
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In this study, water extract of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) was studied for antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer and analgesic properties. The antioxidant properties of stinging nettle were evaluated using different antioxidant tests, including reducing power, free radical scavenging, superoxide anion radical scavenging, hydrogen peroxide scavenging, and metal chelating activities. Stinging nettle had powerful antioxidant activity. The 50, 100 and 250 microg amounts of stinging nettle showed 39, 66 and 98% inhibition on peroxidation of linoleic acid emulsion, respectively, while 60 microg/ml of alpha-tocopherol, exhibited only 30% inhibition. Moreover, stinging nettle had effective reducing power, free radical scavenging, superoxide anion radical scavenging, hydrogen peroxide scavenging, and metal chelating activities at the same concentrations. In addition, total phenolic compounds in the stinging nettle were determined as pyrocatechol equivalent. Stinging nettle also showed antimicrobial activity against nine microorganisms, antiulcer activity against ethanol-induced ulcerogenesis and analgesic effect on acetic acid-induced stretching.”5. http://www.raysahelian.com/methylmethioninesulfonium.html
***cysteine and MMSC (methylmethionine sulfonium chloride) supplementation for ulcers6. http://www.gihealth.com/newsletter/previous/071.html
“There was one study reported from England last year that suggested that acid suppression from PPI treatment may reduce calcium absorption from the diet and increase the risk of hip fracture, especially in the elderly. The study found a similar but smaller risk of hip fractures for another class of acid-fighting drugs called H2 blockers. Those drugs include Tagamet, Zantac, Axid and Pepcid. So far, this conclusion seems true, but most doctors feel that this risk can be averted by properly monitoring the bone density of elderly people taking the drugs and recommending calcium-rich diets to all patients.”
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