The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA


Antacids Can Cause Major Problems

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

Why Absorption of Nutrients is Important During Pregnancy

An important part of a healthy pregnancy is providing you and your baby with good nutrition. In order to achieve this goal, you need to eat a healthy diet, and to add supplements to provide you with the nutrition that is lacking in our food. Once you're providing your body with these, you need to make sure you are getting the proper absorption. The old saying, "you are what you eat", should be changed to "you are what you absorb." Proper absorption gives your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy and to stay healthy.

Effective digestion requires enzymes. Cooking kills food enzymes and your body must use enzymes from your liver and pancreas, a physically demanding task. Eventually there will be a deficiency, which will inhibit your ability to effectively absorb the nutrients in the food you eat and the supplements you take.

AbsorbAid(TM) is unlike other enzyme products because it is bio engineered to be stomach acid stable, that is, AbsorbAid(TM) is effective in the stomach, and continues to work in the small intestine, which is where other enzyme formulations fail.

AbsorbAid(TM) a healthier option to antacids and acid blockers. A chronic problem during pregnancy, indigestion and heartburn effects 80% of women. This develops when the growing fetus pushes against the stomach, and food and stomach acid splash up into the esophagus. Antacids and acid blockers may provide you with short term relief, but they potentially have adverse side effects that can be harmful to both the mother and baby. In addition to these potential problems, they actually hinder your digestion, and may make it more difficult to get the nutrients that you need.

Many antacids contain lead which has been linked to birth defects and learning disabilities. Recently the Natural Resource Defense Council, (NRDC) an environmental group sued the maker of Rolaids, Tums and other producers of antacids and calcium supplements, alleging they include dangerous amounts of lead in their products.

The NRDC said lead has been linked to birth defects and learning disabilities, and that a primary reason for the suit was the fact that calcium supplements are marketed to pregnant women. The NRDC is even suggesting warning labels should be required on these products stating that danger.

AbsorbAid(TM) provides immediate relief of indigestion and heartburn without any of the adverse side effects associated with using antacids. In fact, using AbsorbAid(TM) will promote better health through improved digestion and absorption of nutrients. A study conducted at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy concluded that AbsorbAid(TM) is totally safe to use.

Jack Isaacs, a pharmacist for 39 years, says "using AbsorbAid(TM) is a safe solution to relieve problems associated with indigestion and heartburn."

And Dr. Ray Bayley, DACBN (Board Certified Nutritionist) adds: "By removing stomach acid with antacids you are probably decreasing digestion, making it harder to get nutrients out of your food."

If you suffer from indigestion or heartburn, now you can use a totally natural product that doesn't control or change your bodies chemistry. Increase your digestion and absorption with AbsorbAid(TM).

What role do certain nutrients play during pregnancy?

Selenium: (AbsorbAid(TM) increases the absorption of Selenium by 20%) It is a trace mineral and is a vital antioxidant. It is also important to your babies health. The need for Selenium increases during pregnancy, especially during the later stages. Low Selenium levels have been attributed to low birth weight babies, sudden infant death syndrome, (SIDS), and Keshan disease, a severe heart disorder that affects children and women. Recent studies found that selenium reduced overall cancer incidences by 42%, and slashed cancer death rates in half. Occurrence of colorectal cancer was reduced by 64%, and lung cancer 39%. These finding are unprecedented - the first real scientific proof of any nutrient's power to prevent cancer in humans. Other studies have found that women with the highest blood levels of selenium were 5 time less likely to develop ovarian cancer than women with the lowest levels.

Vitamin B-6: (AbsorbAid(TM) increases the absorption of Vitamin B-6 by 15%) It is a B vitamin that is involved in more bodily functions than any other single nutrient. It can effect both you physical and mental well being. Having the proper amount of vitamin B-6 can help with, water retention, insomnia, and mood changes. It is also important in the multiplication of cells and the absorption of fats and proteins.

Zinc: (AbsorbAid(TM) increases the absorption of Zinc by 71%) It is also a trace mineral that is in every body cell. The benefits of zinc are extensive. Lack of the proper levels of zinc can effect premature births, low birth weight, and growth retardation. It is important for the proper action of many body and immune functions, including the sex and growth hormone.

What the Makers of Antacids and H2 Acid Blockers don't want you to Know

Part Two
By Dr. Ray Bayley, DC, DACBN (Board Certified in Nutrition)

Q: Why is it so important to have acid in our stomachs?

A: Stomach acid has many functions such as killing bad microbes that might be in our food. (For example, that is partly why only some people get symptoms of food poisoning among a group eating the tainted food.) Stomach acid itself digests some of our food and it activates enzymes that digest more. Stomach acid, in combination with other secretions in our gastrointestinal tract, gives us the proper balance of acid and alkaline that allows our digestive enzymes to work their best. This balance of acid and alkaline also encourages the growth of friendly microbes (the kind that make vitamins and antibiotics for us right there in our GI tract) and discourages the growth of unfriendly microbes (ones that can steal nutrients, produce gas, irritation, poisons, diseases).

Unfortunately, for the average American, our ability to produce acid and digestive enzymes tends to decrease as we age, often becoming a severe problem when we age. In fact, the statistics are that THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE TAKING ANTACIDS AND H2 BLOCKERS WERE NOT PRODUCING ENOUGH STOMACH ACID TO BEGIN WITH. Startling isn't it? The antacids and H2 blockers were taken based on symptoms of indigestion, not an actual analysis of stomach acid output. The symptoms that led to the antacids and H2 blockers are more often due clinically to inadequate and too slow digestion and the growth of unfriendly microbes. The truth of this can be seen in the individual by improving the digestion and getting rid of the unfriendly microbes.

Q: What Happens When We Use Antacids?

A: If the antacids actually do remove acid, then we are decreasing the positive benefits of acid noted above--digestion, setting the stage for digestion, microbe control.

Calcium antacids can be a cheap source of calcium if you can absorb and utilize that particular kind of calcium and if it doesn't encourage magnesium deficiency (common in Americans). Calcium is difficult to digest and absorb, acid plays an important role in that, and thus antacids can decrease the availability of the calcium you eat.

Calcium antacids are so efficient at neutralizing acid that the stomach thinks a LOT of food must have arrived and puts out more acid (called rebound hyperacidity), if it can. This often leads to antacid addiction--you are taking more and more antacids over time to get the same results. Now you might actually HAVE too much acid, UNLESS you take your antacids routinely. This may also occur with H2 blockers It's a vicious cycle that should be stopped.

Magnesium antacids are mostly nonabsorbable and usually will not help with magnesium deficiencies. They can instead bind up other nutrients and water, leading to a watery stool or diarrhea. The research showing that aluminum is toxic is growing yearly. Therefore, aluminum antacids are suspicious and should be avoided if possible.

Q: Are H2 blockers safe to use?

A: H2 blockers (e.g. Axid(R), Pepcid(R), Tagamet(R), Zantac(R)) are designed to decrease the ability of your stomach to produce acid--a doubtful benefit...and an unnecessary one if improving digestion or getting rid of unfriendly microbes gets rid of the problem.

We know that at least some H2 blockers can seriously impair the ability of the liver to get rid of poisons. Like all drugs, H2 blockers are poisons that the body must eventually get rid of. Thus you are taking a poison that can make other poisons more poisonous.

The list of H2 blocker side effects reported in the literature is long and wide-ranging. Some of it can be explained by their interference with liver function, some is as yet unexplained.

AND, just like the rebound hyperacidity and addiction mentioned above with antacids, one can get addicted to H2 blockers. The body is exquisitely designed to adapt to adversity AND the stomach is designed to put out acid in response to food. Often the stomach gets used to the antacids and H2 blockers, taking them in account, and comes to rely on them for normal functioning.

IF one needs to take a drug, a poison, it should be taken for only a short time until healthy processes can be restored. Improved digestion is healthy for the body. "First do no harm" is the time-honored guide in therapy, therefore improve digestion as a first choice, as a healthier option to taking antacids and H2 blockers, whenever possible.

By Dr. Ray Bayley, DC, DACBN (Board Certified in Nutrition)
Reprinted with permission by Nature's Sources LLC, Manufacturer and
Distributor of AbsorbAid(TM)
800-827-7656    847-647-8484    Fax 847-647-9101.
You can find AbsorbAid at your local health food store.
If they do not yet carry AbsorbAid, you can order by calling 800-827-7656.
Mention that you saw the information in OBC News and they will ship your
product free.
The Online Birth Center News is copyright 1997 by Donna Zelzer. The individual writers hold copyright to the individual messages. Copies may be freely distributed electronically, as long as
  1. This permission and the authorship of the articles are retained in any additional publication of the article.
  2. The content of the article is not changed in any way.
  3. You do not charge for the article, other than the cost of download and/or connect time, or photocopying costs, in the case of a printed version.

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Prenatal Nutrition


SEARCH gentlebirth.org

Main Index Page of the Midwife Archives

Main page of gentlebirth.org         Mirror site

Please e-mail feedback about errors of fact, spelling, grammar or semantics. Thank you.

Permission to link to this page is hereby granted.
About the Midwife Archives / Midwife Archives Disclaimer