Long term use of proton pump inhibitor drugs for heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux quickens endothelial cell aging
Recent analysis has already associated proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use with an increased risk dementia, heart attack and renal failure. The latest research expands on this finding, demonstrating that chronic exposure to PPIs makes the endothelial cells lining your arteries and veins 'stickier', and less able to prevent blockages. It also compromises their recycling and garbage disposal mechanisms - a process strongly linked to the aging process. This observation could also explain earlier associations with cardiovascular disease and dementia, both of which are correlated with impaired garbage disposal mechanisms and correct protein turnover.
"When we exposed human endothelial cells over a period of time to these PPIs, we observed accelerated aging of the cells. The PPIs also reduce acidity in lysosomes of the endothelial cell. The lysosomes are like cellular garbage disposals and need acid to work properly. We observed cellular garbage accumulating in the endothelial cells, which sped up the aging process"
The FDA estimates that around 1 in 14 Americans have taken PPIs, and they are widely available and sold over the counter. There is no evidence of lasting harm caused by short term use, but this new information suggests they may need to be controlled and better. Alternatives like H2 blockers didn't demonstrate the same pro-aging effects in the tests, and may be preferable alternatives.
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