New research, published in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal, has suggested that long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) for the treatment of severe heartburn conditions (gastroesophageal reflux disease) may cause blood vessel cells to age faster, which could lead to the risk of heart disease, kidney disease and dementia.
John Smith, PAGB Chief Executive, comments:
“The laboratory study, conducted at Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI), concluded that there are several limitations to the research and the authors recognise that clinical studies would be necessary to determine whether PPI medicines damage blood vessel cells in the same way inside the body.
“The study hasn’t reviewed all PPIs available over-the-counter and the researchers are unable to explain how PPI’s impair the lysosome’s ability to produce enough acid to clear waste, which can encourage cells to age rapidly.
“Further limitations conclude this study focuses specifically on PPIs in long-term use, whereas PPIs available over-the-counter are only intended for short term use for treating acute conditions. All over-the-counter medicines in the UK have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and are rigorously assessed for safety and efficacy. Once on the market, their safety is continually monitored in light of any emerging evidence.
“We would recommend those who may be concerned should always speak to their pharmacist before taking any medicine.”