The FDA issued a warning to consumers that high doses or long-term use of proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of fractures of the wrist, hip or spine. Proton inhibitors are drugs that suppress the secretion of stomach acid and are used in the treatment of peptic ulcers, acid reflux, frequent heartburn, and associated conditions. By suppressing the secretion of stomach acid, proton pump inhibitors reduce the body’s ability to absorb minerals. Stomach acid — specifically, hydrochloric acid (HCL) — plays a critical role in separating minerals from the foods that bind them. Unfortunately, dietary supplements don’t compensate for those lost minerals because low HCL levels allow the minerals to combine with other substances, and so they become more difficult for the body to absorb. Low HCL levels particularly inhibit the absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium, making deficiencies a highly likely outcome of long-term proton inhibitor use. Learn more about digestive health and natural alternatives for acid reflux with this health podcast.