Known as “proton pump inhibitors,” or PPIs, these commonly prescribed drugs are the go-to-fix for an overproduction of stomach acids. But for a small percentage of people who carry a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, the risk of developing stomach cancer shoots up when they take a PPI for an extended period of time, according to the study. While half of the world’s population has this bacteria naturally occurring inside of them, for some, the combination of bacteria and PPIs is shown to lead to the development of stomach cancer.
The researchers looked at health data for over 63,000 people who took PPIs and other antibiotics to fight an H. pylori infection. For three years, just over 3,000 people continued to take PPIs while almost 22,000 other patients used alternatives.
Of the original group of 63,000, 153 people eventually developed stomach cancer, but those on PPIs were 2.44 times more likely to get cancer and those on alternative drugs had no increased risk. And those on PPIs daily during this time period had up to an eight-fold greater risk of stomach cancer.
“The work has important clinical implications as PPIs, which are among the top 10 selling generic drugs in the US, are commonly prescribed to treat heartburn,” gastrointestinal infection researcher Richard Ferrero told Science Alert.
The study suggests about 4 in every 10,000 stomach cancer cases could be caused by the combination of PPIs and H. pylori bacteria, although researchers still aren’t sure why the connection exists.
Healing Your Stomach and Gut With Food
The best way to balance stomach acid levels and heal your gut is with food.
In the meantime, here is what our friend the Medical Medium has to say about foods to avoid and foods to incorporate when trying to heal stomach and gut issues.
For foods to avoid:
Try to avoid eggs, soy, gluten, corn, and dairy products. These foods can feed viruses and bacteria, and cause greater issues with many intestinal conditions. Stay clear of canola oil which wrecks havoc on the gut lining and exacerbates any intestinal tract issue. It’s also important to avoid diatomaceous earth particles which are incredibly hard on your intestinal tract.
For foods to incorporate:
Plain celery juice is essential for rebuilding hydrochloric acid and overall gut health. 16oz on an empty stomach each morning can start to turn around gut issues and calm an inflamed liver. Aloe water is incredibly anti-viral and anti-bacterial, it goes after harmful bacteria in the intestinal lining and lowers the build up of bad acids. Simple directions for aloe water can be found on the Medical Medium blog. In addition to celery and aloe water, papaya is phenomenal. Papaya soothes the nerves and is wonderful for anyone suffering from crohn’s and colitis, IBS, chronic gastritis, or any viral and neurological problems irritating your nerves and affecting your intestinal tract. Wild blueberries, oranges, spinach, all varieties of lettuce, sprouts, sweet potatoes, fresh mint, ginger, and lemon water are all tremendous additions to any diet. Peppermint and ginger tea are two healing drinks you can incorporate.