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Aciphex may interfere with nutrient absorption

Q: Since Aciphex reduces stomach acid, is it true that such a reduction could interfere with the absorption of vitamins and other nutrients in my diet? The insert that comes with Aciphex says it may interfere with the absorption of B vitamins.

Two years ago, after a scope exam of my esophagus showed I had esophageal erosions, the doctor prescribed Aciphex. She commented that this would be for an indefinite time. What does this mean for my nutrition?

A: Aciphex is one of the five proton pump inhibitors. In this instance, "proton" is a synonym for "acid." These medicines have been true breakthroughs in the treatment of GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn) and ulcers. No other medicines equal them in decreasing acid production. The other members of this family are: Prilosec (omeprazole), Prevacid, Protonix and Nexium.

Stomach acid facilitates the absorption of iron, vitamin B-12 and calcium carbonate, the kind of calcium often chosen as a supplement.

Interference with iron absorption is a theoretical possibility that hasn't been proven. The suppression of vitamin B-12 absorption is an issue if the only supply of this vitamin comes from what's obtained in foods. Vitamin B-12 in pill form can still be absorbed. If your body level of B-12 is low, take a B-12 supplement. Calcium carbonate has to have some stomach acid in order for adequate amounts of calcium to enter the blood.

Source: Southcoast Today, April 14, 2010


By Mortin - Copyright 2010
Last modification 07/04/2010