A study proves PPIs for GERD (e.g. esomeprazole) causes the symptoms it is prescribed to treat.

Proton-Pump Inhibitor Therapy Induces Acid-Related Symptoms in Healthy Volunteers After Withdrawal of Therapy

It may seem obvious to say that when someone stops taking PPIs they will experience symptoms soon after they discontinued the medication. But what are the implications of this happening to healthy people who took PPIs and did not have heart burn or GERD?

In this study 120 healthy people were put into two groups. One group was given PPIs (esomeprazole) for 8 weeks and the other group given a placebo. After withdrawal the acid related symptoms (reflux, heart burn) were much more prevalent in the group who had taken esomeprazole and these symptoms were recorded in some people up to 12 weeks later.

The implications of this study is that acid reflux after discontinuing PPIs may not be related to your health, it is probably  the medication. When symptoms return after withdrawal this is referred to as “Rebound acid hypersecretion” and it may be the reason many people won’t stop taking their PPIs. PPI’s are not for the long term yet millions of people take them everyday without giving it a second thought. PPIs are also over prescribed and self-prescribed. It is likely many people are on a too high dose and have been taking them for way too long.

Good news is you can withdraw from this medication and there are smarter ways to treat your acid reflux and heart burn with no withdrawal side effects or other long terms health risks . Consult your GP  or natural health practitioner about whether it’s time to try something else.

Copy of study abstract below

Proton-Pump Inhibitor Therapy Induces Acid-Related Symptoms in Healthy Volunteers After Withdrawal of Therapy

Reimer, Christina et al.
Gastroenterology , Volume 137 , Issue 1 , 80 – 87.e1

Background & Aims

Rebound acid hypersecretion (RAHS) has been demonstrated after 8 weeks of treatment with a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI). If RAHS induces acid-related symptoms, this might lead to PPI dependency and thus have important implications.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 120 healthy volunteers was conducted. Participants were randomized to 12 weeks of placebo or 8 weeks of esomeprazole 40 mg/d followed by 4 weeks with placebo. The Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) was filled out weekly. A score of >2 on 1 of the questions regarding heartburn, acid regurgitation, or dyspepsia was defined as a clinically relevant acid-related symptom.


There were no significant differences between groups in GSRS scores at baseline. GSRS scores for acid-related symptoms were significantly higher in the PPI group at week 10 (1.4 ± 1.4 vs 1.2 ± 0.9; P = .023), week 11 (1.4 ± 1.4 vs 1.2 ± 0.9; P = .009), and week 12 (1.3 ± 1.2 vs 1.0 ± 0.3; P = .001). Forty-four percent (26/59) of those randomized to PPI reported ≥1 relevant, acid-related symptom in weeks 9–12 compared with 15% (9/59;P < .001) in the placebo group. The proportion reporting dyspepsia, heartburn, or acid regurgitation in the PPI group was 13 of 59 (22%) at week 10, 13 of 59 (22%) at week 11, and 12 of 58 (21%) at week 12. Corresponding figures in the placebo group were 7% at week 10 (P = .034), 5% at week 11 (P = .013), and 2% at week 12 (P = .001).


PPI therapy for 8 weeks induces acid-related symptoms in healthy volunteers after withdrawal. This study indicates unrecognized aspects of PPI withdrawal and supports the hypothesis that RAHS has clinical implications.

Millions of Australians are predicted to get colon cancer. Here’s some evidence on how to lower your risk.


About_Bowel_Cancer_polyp_progression_770newMillions of Australians are predicted to get colon cancer. Here’s some evidence on how to lower your risk.

A while ago a new report released  by leading social demographer Bernard Salt, who said  by 2026, 4.6 million baby boomers and 4 million Gen Xers “ will be subjected to a bowel cancer lottery” purely because of their age. (Source. http://www.smh.com.au/national/millions-of-australians-at-risk-of-bowel-cancer-20160320-gnmlzr.html#ixzz43V3GG58M ).


This is concerning  for a preventable cancer. How then do we reduce the risk for ourselves and our families.

To start with there is some evidence that poor diet and nutrition, the amount of alcohol you drink and a sedentary lifestyle increase your relative risk of bowel cancer.  Diabetes and obesity really elevate the risk of bowel cancer and these modern chronic diseases are largely attributed to the same lifestyle choices associated with bowel (colorectal) cancer.

There is also one other major factor , chronic stress. Chronic stress is often associated  with development of chronic disease and cancer.  The stress-response involves many changes in the body as it is prepared to survive a threat. When this happens repeatedly everyday the normal functions of the body become disrupted. Repeated chronic stress causes unrelenting inflammation, which damages tissue in our blood vessels and  inside of our gastrointestinal tract. This inflammation is referred to as mucosal inflammation and this causes a great deal of problems. Mucosal inflammation damages the lining of your intestines (mucosa) and creates a hostile environment for healthy bacteria, which is not good because when your healthy bacteria population dwindle the unhealthy ones often move in.

Several studies implicate unhealthy bacteria and lack of healthy bacteria as a factor in the development of colon cancer. Such Finally stress is not only something that happens externally and you react to it. Your gut can get very distressed when you swallow something that it hadn’t evolved to use and to protect itself from toxic substances the gut immune function starts the inflammation process.  The inflammation makes cells vulnerable to DNA damage and it is also an environment where a cancer tumour thrives.

There is no proven silver bullet to avoid colorectal cancer , but we can change many habits to reduce  mucosal inflammation and create an gut environment that is hostile to bad bacteria. Both of these changes will reduce our risk of colorectal cancer.

Here’s a brief list of lifestyle changes that would help reduce your risk of mucosal inflammation and colon cancer: –

  • Probiotics
  • Fermented foods
  • Look at your comfort eating?  Are you? Why?
  • Don’t binge drink
  • Don’t eat  processed foods
  • Eat fibre
  • Eat some fruit and vegetables everyday or supplement with super food drinks
  • Cook whole foods as much as possible
  • Use eco-friendly toxic chemical free cleaning and household products
  • Eat less processed meats and eat less meat
  • Get a comprehensive blood test every year including inflammatory markers CRP, ESR and all essential vitamins and minerals, fasting glucose, insulin, blood fats and anything else relevant to your health. Then address any nutritional deficiencies and other concerns.
  • Balance your essential fats intake (as Omega 3,6,9)
  • Over 50 and family history of bowel cancer? Consult your doctor for whether you may benefit from test for bowel cancer.
  • Suffering from chronic constipation/diarrhoea/ or an IBD? Consult a integrative medicine practitioner for help.

And work on being less distressed. Bring down those stress levels

  • Find a way to slow down, relax and take time out. Sitting in front of the television is not relaxation, but listening to meditation music with absolutely  no distractions is.
  • Sweat! – do intensive exercise 3-5 times a week
  • Move! – get up from your office chair and move around for 5 minutes every hour



This is a brief and very incomplete explanation of cancer , which is incredibly complex. Never the less it is indisputable that most cancers are not a genetic destiny they are often a result of how we have lived our lives and perhaps some bad luck.

Some sources for this article


Gut microbiota and colorectal cancer – (PMID:27350830 PMCID:PMC4917993)

Schwabe RF, Jobin C. The microbiome and cancer. Nat Rev Cancer. 2013;13(11):800–12. doi: 10.1038/nrc3610.

A human colonic commensal promotes colon tumorigenesis via activation of T helper type 17 T cell responses – doi:10.1038/nm.2015

Chronic inflammation, colorectal cancer and gene polymorphisms.

(PMID:21088407 PMCID:PMC2997443)

Alcohol and Cancer Incidence – http://epic.iarc.fr/highlights/alcoholcancerincidence.php

Vitamin D and Colorectal Cancer – http://epic.iarc.fr/highlights/vitamindcolorectal.php

Dead Probiotics still work!


Dead Probiotics still work!

Yes it is sort of hard to believe dead bacteria still had the same benefits as live ones. However an associate of mine gave me a good idea why this could be. Humans have been living with dead bacteria for thousands of years. They are in our gut , on our skin and all around us so in it  makes sense our bodies would recognise and react to dead bacteria.

The study in this post (see abstract below) reinforces the reported health benefits from using shelf-stable probiotics that are not live cultures. Shelf-stable probiotics work as well as live probiotics. It could be that the strain of bacteria is more important than whether the bacteria is alive and there are certainly plenty of studies on the effects of particular bacteria strains. As it stands more and more people are using shelf-stable probiotics probably because they keep for a very long time and you can take them with you when you travel.

Here’s the study


The probiotic paradox: live and dead cells are biological response modifiers



Probiotics are usually defined as products which contain viable non-pathogenic micro-organisms able to confer health benefits to the host. There are specific gastrointestinal effects of probiotics such as alleviating inflammatory bowel disease, reducing acute diarrhoea in children, inhibiting Salmonella and Helicobacter pylori, removing cholesterol, secreting enzymes and bacteriocins and immunomodulation. However, many of the effects obtained from viable cells of probiotics are also obtained from populations of dead cells. Heat-killed cells of Enterococcus faecalis stimulate the gastrointestinal immune system in chicks. Dead bifidobacteria induce significant increases in TNF-alpha production. Administration of heat-killed E. faecalis to healthy dogs increases neutrophil phagocytes. The probiotic paradox is that both live and dead cells in probiotic products can generate beneficial biological responses. The action of probiotics could be a dual one. Live probiotic cells influence both the gastrointestinal microflora and the immune response whilst the components of dead cells exert an anti-inflammatory response in the gastrointestinal tract. This is quite analogous to a proposed mode of action of antimicrobial growth promoters in animal production. This has several implications for the production and application of probiotics, as it will be difficult to assess the relative proportions of live and dead cells in a probiotic culture. Variable amounts of dead cells might contribute to the variation in response often seen with live probiotic cultures. However, the use of dead probiotics as biological response modifiers has several attractive advantages; such products would be very safe and have a long shelf-life.

Do you suffer from morning sickness? Chinese herbs can really help

Well over half of all women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, usually beginning around the 6th week and ending after the twelfth week of pregnancy.

Some Chinese herbs commonly used to relieve vomiting, nausea and morning sickness are:-

Ginger (Sheng Jiang)– Fresh ginger is a common herb used in Chinese medicine to help digestion and it can help alleviate symptoms of morning sickness.

Cardamon Seed  (Shan Za) – Cardamon is a very effective herb for treating morning sickness and is an ideal herb for morning sickness due to the additional function of “calming the fetus”, which means it is often used in formulas for the prevention of miscarriage.

Tangerine peel (Chen Pi) – Tangerine peel is commonly prescribed for relieving stomach bloating, nausea , vomiting and loss of appetite

Pinellia (Ban Xia)  –  Pinellia is a powerful anti-nausea herb that is used often in combination with ginger to relieve morning sickness.

I recommend a formula that contain all of these plus other herbs that when combined together provide a powerful synergistic effect on relieving morning sickness.

Do you think holistically about your health?

Looking at your health holistically emphasises the important of the whole body and the interdependence of its parts. This perspective changes our how we talk about ourselves. Instead of saying body and mind, we can say mind-body accepting there is no separation of these two concepts. Some might say they think holistically about their health when in fact they  still  see their  body and mind as separate. Most of us accept distress and mood affect our health, but we might overlook that the internal state of our body can affect our mind,  our feelings and behaviour. The Gut-brain-axis  is an example of the interdependency of many life-sustaining systems that are influenced  by the  constant bi-directional communication between our gut and our brain. It is a reminder we are not in control of our bodies , our bodies are often in control of our minds.

Here’s a some examples of how our body affects our mind/brain.

When you get a cold or flu , the immune system sends messages (cytokines) to the brain to tell you are sick .The brain then does numerous things to protect the body from infection including turning up  the body temperature to create a fever to kill the virus. The brain activates many immune functions  and research has shown these cause behaviours that are characteristic with feeling depressed, for example: – withdrawing from people, fatigue, irritability, and feeling flat.

There are thousands of species of bacteria in your body and some thrive on certain types of food and will perish when deprived of its favourite diet. Bacteria cause cravings for certain foods that it needs. So is it you who craves sugary drinks or your tiny friends/foes? When you change your diet your bacteria population changes and the craving for food will change. When I find some good studies on this I will share them with you.

Food and drink can make you feel anxious, restless, irritable and even depressed. Your gut is constantly communicating to your brain about how it is.  When your gut is under attack from toxic substances from processed foods or drinks it informs the brain so you are aware you have  something inside that probably shouldn’t have. This process activates the immune system and stress system to protect you from the toxic chemicals. These changes affect your mood. There is  research that up to 60% of people who are diagnosed with a gut complaint (e.g. IBS, IBD, SIBO, Gastritis) also suffer from mood disorders (anxiety, depression, OCD). This is more than coincidence. Our guts produce many hormones that influence our mood. One prime example if serotonin . An hormone associated with the brain, which is true to some extend , but serotonin is key to gut motility and most of it is produced in our gastrointestinal tract. When our gut doesn’t work well it can have a profound affect on production of serotonin and this affects our mood.

Don’t underestimate the profound influence your gastrointestinal tract has on how you feel. The reward for giving up junk food is that you are going to feel happier and have more energy.








Are you still feeding your family margarine ? Time to switch to butter

Butter  has many benefits for your health and if you still believe the hyperbole that margarine is more healthy and butter is bad than you are still buying into out-dated health advice based on weak and questionable scientific theories. Here’s some reasons to return butter to your fridge and give it to the whole family.

  1. Butter contains healthy fats which help raise HDL (the good cholesterol )
  2. Butter in modest amounts will not make you put on weight or increase your risk of heart attack
  3. Butter has anti-inflammatory properties
  4. Butter contains vitamins A, E and K2


Grass fed butter is best , but any real butter is a wiser option than margarine. For one thing margarine contains emulsifiers and emulsifiers kills the good bacteria in your gut , which is not what you want for your growing children who need the bacteria for a healthy digestion and strong immunity.



Herbal Antibiotics – A safe, effective and important support to eliminate resistant bacteria when antibiotics fail.

Herbal Antibiotics – A safe, effective and important support to eliminate resistant bacteria when antibiotics fail.
Are you finding your GP more reluctant to prescribe your antibiotics? Here, the Australian government is working hard to reduce prescriptions of antibiotics because it is  very concerned about the antibiotic resistant bacteria. Now a single course of antibiotics can fail to treat a common infection like golden staph and multiple courses may be required.
In hospitals it is estimated that 30% of infection are now resistant and a single course of antibiotics no longer work.  All over there world there are cases of people dying from resistant bacteria infections  and since 2014 a million people around the world have died of antibiotic resistant bacteria infections.
Plants provide an alternative 
Plants have  natural defences to protect themselves against attacks from unfriendly bacteria , viruses  and fungi.  Without a means to kill these harmful invaders  the plant would be overrun and perish.
Traditional medicine has used the antibacterial , anti-fungal and anti-viral  properties of plants for more than 3000 years.
The advantage plants have over antibiotics is they eliminate the resistant bacteria and do not destroy your good bacteria in the process.
This makes plant herbal antibiotic formulas ideal for children and a useful adjunct for reoccurring infections that have been treated by several courses of antibiotics.
I use practitioner only broad spectrum herbal antibiotic from Panaxea,  an Australia natural medicine company. This formula is  manufactured to TGA standards so it is of high quality and potency as well as being free of chemical toxins and dangerous levels of metals. Contact me for more information.

Harvard study reveals how a relaxation and mindfulness intervention improves Gastrointestinal Disorders



A pilot study demonstrates that a relaxation mind body program can improve quality of life for people suffering from IBS or inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease). Within 9 weeks participants reported less pain, less anxiety and less symptoms associated with these conditions. A very interesting aspect of the study was the analysis of gene expressions in relation to the biological pathways that are involved in IBS/IBD. The result show how the body responses in a way that improves the overall condition.

“The program was multidimensional and included daily elicitation of the RR using a variety of methods (including breath focus, single-pointed focus, imagery, contemplation, yoga, and mindful awareness); cognitive reappraisal skills, health enhancing behaviors, and the promotion of optimism and acceptance. Sessions 1–4 focused on developing an understanding of stress physiology and the physiology of the RR, its relationship to the digestive system, and developing a regular practice of eliciting the RR. Sessions 5–9 included information on lifestyle behaviors and the development of cognitive skills to cope with stress. Throughout the course of treatment, participants were asked to elicit the RR at home each day for 15–20 minutes.” (Kuro et al , 2015)

Abstract Study below (you can download the paper for free see link at bottom of post)


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can profoundly affect quality of life and are influenced by stress and resiliency. The impact of mind-body interventions (MBIs) on IBS and IBD patients has not previously been examined.


Nineteen IBS and 29 IBD patients were enrolled in a 9-week relaxation response based mind-body group intervention (RR-MBI), focusing on elicitation of the RR and cognitive skill building. Symptom questionnaires and inflammatory markers were assessed pre- and post-intervention, and at short-term follow-up. Peripheral blood transcriptome analysis was performed to identify genomic correlates of the RR-MBI.


Pain Catastrophizing Scale scores improved significantly post-intervention for IBD and at short-term follow-up for IBS and IBD. Trait Anxiety scores, IBS Quality of Life, IBS Symptom Severity Index, and IBD Questionnaire scores improved significantly post-intervention and at short-term follow-up for IBS and IBD, respectively. RR-MBI altered expression of more genes in IBD (1059 genes) than in IBS (119 genes). In IBD, reduced expression of RR-MBI response genes was most significantly linked to inflammatory response, cell growth, proliferation, and oxidative stress-related pathways. In IBS, cell cycle regulation and DNA damage related gene sets were significantly upregulated after RR-MBI. Interactive network analysis of RR-affected pathways identified TNF, AKT and NF-κB as top focus molecules in IBS, while in IBD kinases (e.g. MAPK, P38 MAPK), inflammation (e.g. VEGF-C, NF-κB) and cell cycle and proliferation (e.g. UBC, APP) related genes emerged as top focus molecules.


In this uncontrolled pilot study, participation in an RR-MBI was associated with improvements in disease-specific measures, trait anxiety, and pain catastrophizing in IBS and IBD patients. Moreover, observed gene expression changes suggest that NF-κB is a target focus molecule in both IBS and IBD—and that its regulation may contribute to counteracting the harmful effects of stress in both diseases. Larger, controlled studies are needed to confirm this preliminary finding.

Link here


PPIs lower your absorption of B12

This is an important study that could easily be overlooked. It proves that lower stomach acid causes malabsorption of B12. B12 is an essential nutrient for body functions including  maintaining  a healthy nervous system.

Effect of hypochlorhydria due to omeprazole treatment or atrophic gastritis on protein-bound vitamin B12 absorption.

Saltzman JR1, Kemp JA, Golner BB, Pedrosa MC, Dallal GE, Russell RM.



To investigate the effects of hypochlorhydria and acidic drink ingestion on protein-bound vitamin B12 absorption in elderly subjects.


Absorption of protein-bound vitamin B12 was examined in elderly normal subjects (n = 8), and in hypochlorhydric subjects due to omeprazole treatment (n = 8) or with atrophic gastritis (n = 3). Subjects underwent absorption tests of protein-bound vitamin B12 ingested with water, cranberry juice and 0.1 N hydrochloric acid.


Protein-bound vitamin B12 absorption was lower in the omeprazole-treated group (0.50%) compared to the normal group (1.21%; p < 0.001). With cranberry juice ingestion, the omeprazole-treated group showed an increase in absorbed protein-bound vitamin B12 (p = 0.025). With dilute hydrochloric acid ingestion, there was a further increase in vitamin B12 absorption (p < 0.001).


Omeprazole causes protein-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption, and ingestion of an acidic drink improves protein-bound vitamin B12 absorption.


Still today millions of people believe that it is excessive stomach acid that causes reflux and heart burn and so they take PPIs and antacids that lower stomach acid. This in most cases does provide relief because the drug is either telling the stomach to lower the ph of the stomach acid making it more alkaline  or you are adding alkaline substance to the stomach therefore lowering its PH. This will reduce the heart burn and regurgitation of stomach acid. However this never resolves the root cause and there are increasing reports of the  health concerns associated with long term use. In a future post I will talk about the root causes of GORD and reflux and how these can treated without the use of PPIs.

stomach acid-suppressive medications were associated with increased risk hip fracture.


A recently published meta-analysis of the  association of  long term use of anti-acid suppressive medication with an increased risk of fractures reported that acid-suppressive medications were associated with increased risk of fracture, especially hip fracture.


Cai, Feng and Jiang (2015) reported  “We found that 1-3 year’s exposure of PPI was more strongly related to hip fracture risk (1.225, 1.137-1.319) than less than 1 year (1.191, 1.111-1.278). Exposure of more than 5 years was related to even higher risk of fracture. However, the risk of hip fracture for >3 year of PPI use was slightly lower than those for 1-3 year of exposure”


Acid-suppressive medications and risk of fracture: an updated meta-analysis




Acid-suppressive medications are widely used for the management of acid-related disorders. It has been reported that acid-suppressive medication users were at increased risk of fracture, but such an association was inconsistent among observational studies. The purpose of our analysis was to assess the relationship between use of antacid drugs and fracture risk.


We systematically searched electronic database and manually examined the reference lists of previous reviews for potentially eligible studies. Given the heterogeneity across studies, random effects models were used to calculate summary estimates. Subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis were conducted to explore the potential heterogeneity.


18 studies met our inclusion criteria. PPI and H2RA were associated with increased risk of hip fracture, with substantial heterogeneity (PPI: 1.216, 1.134-1.304, I(2)=71.3%; H2RA: 1.128, 1.022-1.245, I(2)=72.1%). High risk of spine fracture was observed in PPI users (1.216, 95% CI: 1.134-1.304) but not H2RA users. When considering 5 studies conducted among postmenopausal women, the RR was 1.376, (95% CI: 1.043-1.816) with modest heterogeneity (I(2)=57.7%). Subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis found consistent association between hip fracture risk and PPI use but not H2RA use. Positive association for H2RA use lost its significance when considering case-control studies and European studies.


Results of this updated meta-analysis provided evidence to support that acid-suppressive medications were associated with increased risk of fracture, especially hip fracture.