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GERD and heartburn: Medication reduces magnesium stores

If you have heartburn, esophageal flux or GERD, your pyloric sphincter muscle is not working properly. That is, it usually means that the muscle that is supposed to prevent stomach contents from coming up your esophagus is malfunctioning.

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About John Cannell, MD

Dr. John Cannell is founder of the Vitamin D Council. He has written many peer-reviewed papers on vitamin D and speaks frequently across the United States on the subject. Dr. Cannell holds an M.D. and has served the medical field as a general practitioner, emergency physician, and psychiatrist.

4 Responses to GERD and heartburn: Medication reduces magnesium stores

  1. kenmerrimanmd says:

    this is a very important issue and needs to be brought up more and more to the public

    my sister who is a clinical nutritionist dis not seem to be as cognizant as one might expect on this issue as she felt that magnesium was pretty plentiful in many foods

    unfortunately this is not as true as she thought

    supplementation seems to be a reasonable course of action

    good to see the web site up and running so fast glad to have you guys back!!!

  2. Rita and Misty says:

    Greetings and salutations!

    The attached link presents an interesting POV on GERD as possible autoimmune disease…and we know where the research stands regarding Vitamin D and autoimmune disease…. :) :) :)


    Best wishes for a lovely New Year.

    Rita Umile

  3. DrMargaretTaylor says:

    Dear Dr Cannell, the cause of GERD is not poor pyloric sphincter function, but low production of stomach acid. (often due to low zinc – essential for carbonic anhydrase, the enzyme that produces HCl ). Slow production means that the stomach doesn’t empty within an hour of a meal as it should. Emptying is caused by strong acid stimulating gastric contractions that eventually open the pyloric sphincter. The acidic chyme (food) hitting the duodenal wall causes production of hormones: cholecystokinin that stimulates the gall bladder to contract (incidentally this prevents gall stones), secretin that stimulates the pancreas to empty, gastrin that turns off stomach acid and the gasto-colic reflex that stimulates peristalsis – isn’t that wonderful! So if a patient has reflux, cautiously try acid supplements with meals and if OK, add zinc and after a few months the acid will often cause indigestion as they will now be producing enough acid of their own, so they can stop the HCl but not the zinc. Older people/doctors will remember that in the 1930s patients with indigestion were given acid supplements with meals and had to take it through a straw to protect teeth. The pharmaceutical industry has us all hoodwinked as PPIs are so profitable. I have done this on hundreds of patients, as have most nutritional doctors. The low acid reduces absorption of most minerals, magnesium is the most important/obvious, but what about the other minerals, zinc (PPIs increase pneumonia), manganese (the epidemic of osteoarthritis), selenium (prevents cancer and thyroid problems) etc. Lets get all our patients off PPIs and H2 receptor blockers if we can. They may need a course of nystatin at first if the stomach is inflamed.

    Dr Margaret Taylor, nutritional doctor in Adelaide, Australia

  4. boston says:

    it is the opinion of Dr. Norman Shealy and others I have read and respect that magnesium is not well absorbed through oral supplements, but is best absorbed through the skin…

    Epsom salt baths might be a good way to go once the deficiency is established.

    Dr. Shealy offers magnesium lotion or spray on his website.