Acid Reflux Medicine: Bone Fractures And Vitamin B12

Acid reflux medicine disturbs mineral intake and causes bone fractures. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI's) interfere with calcium intake and can cause vitamin B12 deficiency.

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Calcium


Calcium is needed for strong bones. Did you know it is also an essential mineral for making your heart beat, for guiding nerve impulses, for muscle contraction and for blood flow in your vessels?

Acid Please

You need to consume enough calcium to maintain adequate levels in your blood. Yoghurt, beans, cabbage, eggs and spinach.

Ok , so you are eating tons of beans and spinach per week. That is still not enough to get strong bones. To be absorbed in your small intestine, calcium needs to be mixed with stomach acid.  Otherwise it passes through without being used. 

Proton pump inhibitors, like nexium, take away your stomach acid and therefore disturb your calcium intake.

Bone Fractures

If you don't absorb enough calcium, your body starts digging in its biggest calcium stock: your bones .

PPI's cause a chronic calcium deficiency and impact the quality of your bones. They become weaker and more vulnerable for fractures.

Several studies confirm that long-term PPI usage is associated with occurrence of bone fractures. Despite that, it is important to realize that finding a correlation doesn't necessarily mean that one factor causes the other. Further research needs to investigate if long term usage of acid reflux drugs is the actual cause of a decreased bone quality.

Proton Pump Inhibitors and Vitamine B12

Intrinsic Factor 

PPI's and other acid reflux medications block the release of a substance called 'intrinsic factor'.  It comes along with stomach acid and has the important task to separate vitamin B12 from the food to which it is attached.  

If you are on reflux medications, don't panic. Your liver stores enough vitamin B12 to prevent deficiencies for years.

Vitamine B12 Sources


  • chicken
  • beaf
  • lamb


  • shellfish
  • clams
  • oysters
  • mussels
  • caviar
  • octopus
  • crab 
  • lobster


  • milk
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • yoghurt

Fortified Foods

  • breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin B12

Acid Reflux Medicine: People At Risk

Although your liver stores a big amount of vitamine B12, some people are at risk:

Chronic Heartburn Sufferers

Taking PPI's for years, uses up your vitamin B12 stock. Your liver becomes exhausted and a vitamin B12 deficiency emerges.


The amount of stomach acid diminishes with age. Many older adults have trouble absorbing vitamin B12. Your liver's vitamine B12 stock declines from the age of fifty years. Taking acid reflux medications speeds up vitamine B12 exhaustion.

Vegans Or Vegeterians

Only animal foods contain vitamin B12.  Plants don't make it. Therefore, you are at risk when you are a vegetarian.  You need Vitamin B12 supplements  or fortified cereals  to avoid a deficiency. 

Symptoms Of Vitamine B12 Deficiency

  • Chronic fatigue, weakness or walking difficulities
  • numbness, tingling sensations or pins and needles in hands or feet
  • swollen, inflamed tongue
  • shortness of breath
  • depression

As you can see, long term use of acid reflux medicine influences your body's nutrient intake. Try remedies for acid reflux instead of popping pills. A simple and effective solution for acid reflux at night is a wedge pillow for acid reflux and an acid reflux diet. 

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