Antacids may improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes

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Antacids can improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes, new research has demonstrated.

In a recent meta-analysis, researchers found that the use of antacids improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes but had no effect on reducing the risk of diabetes in the general population.

The findings have been published in the Endocrine Society‘s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Using antacids to control glucose levels

Antacids are medicines, available from pharmacies and shops without a prescription, that counteract (neutralise) stomach acid to relieve indigestion and heartburn. Whilst lifestyle and diet changes are the most common recommendations to help those with Type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar, this recent data indicates that over-the-counter antacid medicines could be an alternative method for controlling glucose levels.

Study author Carol Chiung-Hui Peng, M.D., of the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus in Baltimore, said: “Our research demonstrated that prescribing antacids as an add-on to standard care was superior to standard therapy in decreasing haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels and fasting blood sugar in people with diabetes.”

“For people without diabetes, taking antacids did not significantly alter their risk of developing the disease,” said study author, Huei-Kai Huang M.D., of the Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital in Hualien, Taiwan.

The researchers performed a meta-analysis on the effects of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — a commonly used type of antacid medication — on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and whether these medications could prevent the new onset of diabetes in the general population. The analysis included seven studies (342 participants) for glycaemic control and five studies (244, 439 participants) for risk of incident diabetes. The researchers found antacids can reduce HbA1c levels by 0.36% in people with diabetes and lower fasting blood sugar by 10 mg/dl based on the results from seven clinical trials. For those without diabetes, the results of the five studies showed that antacids had no effect on reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

Study author Kashif Munir, M.D., Associate Professor in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and nutrition at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, said: “People with diabetes should be aware that these commonly used antacid medications may improve their blood sugar control, and providers could consider this glucose-lowering effect when prescribing these medications to their patients.”




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