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Does treatment for gastric acid cause osteoporosis

A recent article has sparked some debate about a possible link between drugs like Losec (omeprazole) and osteoporosis. The rationale for thinking this may be possible is because there may be reduced calcium absorption if there is reduced stomach acid - the main effect of omeprazole treatment.

A community based study suggested a weak association of these acid reducing drugs and osteoporosis. The study was complicated by the fact the many people were taking mutilple drugs - in fact patients taking Losec were more likely to be also taking multiple other drugs - some of which are known to affect calcium metabolism.

More studies are needed but at this stage the association is unproven. There are theoretical reasons to believe that calcium losses are reduced by taking these drugs - therefore there should be a benefit. There is no reason to stop taking these drugs that are a highly effective treatment for indigestion and heartburn

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