Taking antacids, specifically PPI antacids, may be linked to hip fracture. PPI stands for “proton pump inhibitor”. They inhibit the production of hydrogen ions in the body. A hydrogen ion is a proton. Hydrogen ions are produced in the stomach, and the number of hydrogen ion in the stomach is how acidity is measured. Proton pump inhibitors are drugs with a generic name hat ends in “prazole” such as Lansoprazole (e.g. Prevacid). These drugs are used to control stomach acidity and gastric reflux. Use of the drugs has been linked to hip fracture in people over 50, according to research appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2006;296:2947-2953).

For a long time, people involved in natural health care have cautioned against the use of antacids because acid is needed to absorb calcium ions and other minerals. Reducing acid production can interfere with the absorption of calcium and other nutrients. Lowering stomach acid can also interfere with the function of the immune system, by not allowing stomach acid to kill pathogens.

Apparently the drugs interfere with bone production, as well as calcium absorption. Bones are living tissue. They are continually being broken down and rebuilt by the body. There is a kind of recycling going on. Cells known as osteoclasts break down bone so the body can reclaim minerals and protein. The bone is then rebuilt by cells known as osteoblasts. The action of the osteoclasts is necessary to provide the body with material to form new bone. Interestingly enough, there is a proton pump type of mechanism associated with this activity. When you interfere with the proton pump in The researchers found a strong link between use of the proton pump inhibitors and hip fractures. Furthermore, they found that the longer the patients had used the proton pump inhibitors, the more likely it was for them to have a hip fracture. Increased dosage also increased the likelihood of fracture.