Taking Antacids? The Supplements You’ll Need & The Herbals To Avoid

Antacids or Medication for Reflux or Heartburn such as Nexium®, Pepcid®, Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Tagamet®, and others are associated with nutrient depletions of calcium, folic acid, iron, Vitamin B12, and magnesium.

Drug Induced Nutrient Depletions:

Acid reducing medications, whether prescription or OTC, can deplete calcium, folate, iron, B12, and Vitamin D. They can also affect the digestion of protein.

  • Multivitamin: This should include Folate, Vitamin B6, B12, Zinc, Vitamin D plus multiple other nutrients.
    • Zinc: Zinc is depleted by acid reducing medications. Choose a multivitamin that includes plenty of zinc.
    • Vitamin B12: 25-1000 mcg/day is recommended.
    • Folate
    • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium: 250-400 mg of magnesium is suggested.  [PMC6946416]
  • Calcium: Women should be careful to get enough calcium (800-1200 mg/day) and consider taking a calcium supplement if they fall short. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) reduce calcium absorption and increase fracture risk. [PMC10579148]
  • Iron (if needed): Iron absorption will be reduced by acid-blocking medications, so if you develop symptoms of iron deficiency anemia such as pale skin and fatigue, you may need to add an iron supplement. Excess iron causes oxidative stress, so you should discuss iron supplementation with your doctor. You can request labs online through the Nutriscape Lab Shop. The Anemia Panel (affiliate link) from Access Medical Labs tests for Ferritin, Total Iron Binding Capacity, Iron, Folate, B12, and Reticulocyte Count.

Herbals to Avoid

Goldenseal and Ginger increase acid in the stomach, thus will interfere with the goal of medications to treat reflux.

Reference:  Evidence of Drug-Nutrient Interactions with Chronic Use of Commonly Prescribed Medications: An Update [PMC5874849]

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