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Author Topic: Does calcium increase stomach acid?  (Read 10856 times)

Jennifer Garcia

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Does calcium increase stomach acid?
« on: 25/04/2008 14:34:48 »
Jennifer Garcia asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi,
I just wondered if you could clarify for me the affects calcium has with the production of stomach acid. Years ago in my Physio class it was said that calcium causes the production of acid in the stomach and therefore one should not take antacids with calcium because it triggers a vicous cycle. Anyhow, I am writing a paper on in my current class and wondered if you could set the record straight for me.

Thanks a bunch,
Jennifer G.
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 25/04/2008 15:20:12 by BenV »

Madidus_Scientia

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Does calcium increase stomach acid?
« Reply #1 on: 26/04/2008 10:05:49 »
This question reminded me of one i heard on the naked scientists a while back so i searched and found the transcript for it, which may help:

Quote
Does drinking too much milk, or calcium, reduce your physical endurance or stamina?  Sheila via email

   

If you drink milk that isn't skimmed, it's got lots and lots of fat in it. Having lots of fat isn't good for you because of the calories, but also because it furs up your blood vessels. Milk is also very rich in calcium which, in people who are prone to stones, can deposit in the kidney and cause kidney stones. And the other side effect of milk that not many people know, is if you have irritation to the stomach lining and you're at risk of getting stomach ulcers, calcium is used as a co-signal by the wall of the stomach to produce acid. If you have calcium levels in the blood going up, you make more acid. Some people think when they have a dodgy stomach that drinking milk will settle it. When you first do that your stomach feels happier because you've given the acid something to eat other than the wall of your stomach. But then the calcium is absorbed and goes into the blood stream and increases the amount of acid your stomach makes, causing a vicious cycle.
   

January 2007

chris

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Does calcium increase stomach acid?
« Reply #2 on: 27/04/2008 18:52:53 »
The answer to this question is yes, calcium supplements can provoke stomach acid production, thereby aggravating symptoms of indigestion or dyspepsia for which calcium-salts are often taken in the first place.

Calcium ions act as co-stimulators of acid production from parietal and oxyntic cells in the stomach lining. These cells use a K+ / H+ ATPase to pump hydrogen ions (acid) into the stomach. The cells are switched on by a combination of histamine, acetyl choline (from vagus nerve efferents supplying the stomach wall) and calcium ions.

Therefore, taking calcium carbonate (chalk) indigestion tablets, or drinking milk (which is rich in calcium) can cause temporary relief of gastrointestinal symptoms, because the calcium carbonate reacts with the stomach acid to form carbon dioxide and water.

But when this calcium is subsequently absorbed it can provoke rebound hyper-acidity, making the initial problem worse. In other words an uncomfortable vicious circle.

Chris

Madidus_Scientia

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Does calcium increase stomach acid?
« Reply #3 on: 28/04/2008 07:56:20 »
so what's the best thing to take for it?

chris

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Does calcium increase stomach acid?
« Reply #4 on: 28/04/2008 12:14:36 »
A non-calcium containing antacid; aluminium hydroxide is quite good.

 

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