A new large study of almost 800,000 children, published in JAMA Pediatrics, has found that infants who are given antacids like Zantac or Pepcid are more likely to develop childhood allergies. Researchers believe that this may happen because the drugs alter their gut bacteria. They also found that an early use of antibiotics also raised the chances of allergies later in life.
Looking at the health records of children born between 2001 and 2013 who were covered by Tricare (insurance program for active duty and retired military personnel and their families), the team found that 9 percent of the babies received antacids. Over the course of four years, “more than half of all the children developed allergies to foods or medications, rashes, asthma, hay fever or other allergic diseases.”1 While the study couldn’t prove it was the cause the connection to antacids and antibiotics “was striking,” the article said.
- in children who received an antacid during their first six months, the chances of developing a food allergy doubled
- the chances of developing a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis or hay fever were about 50 percent higher
- and in babies who received antibiotics, the chances doubled for asthma and were at least 50 percent higher for hay fever and anaphylaxis
Lead researcher, Dr. Edward Mitre of the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland said of the results, “These medicines are considered generally harmless and something to try with fussy babies who spit up a lot. We should be a little more cautious prescribing these medicines.”2
According to Mitre, our gut bacteria play a role in a healthy immune system and antibiotics and antacids might change the makeup of a baby’s microbiome, even enough to cause an overreaction in the immune system that shows up as an allergy. (MIGHT? I’m sorry but, DUH! Plenty of natural and homeopathic docs have been saying this for YEARS! How are they just now figuring this out?) And the same goes for antacids which change the way protein is digested and therefore alters the development of immune system pathways.
Amazing that these scientists are just now figuring it out after generations of children and adults have been injured for life. But, when you just put a band-aid on things and instead rely on drugs only to solve problems, this is what happens.