If you have acid reflux disease and a family history of heart disease, you may consider speaking to your doctor. That's the advice from Rochester General Hospital cardiologist Dr. Tim Malins in light of a new study published in the journal of the American Heart Association.
The study showed that proton pump inhibitors commonly prescribed for acid reflux may interfere with the blood vessels' ability to produce nitric oxide. "This is something that is quite eye-opening to us because we know that nitric oxide is very important (to cardiovascular health). There have been a lot of studies. In fact, a Nobel Prize was awarded when they realized the importance of nitric oxide. It's a very important mechanism for our vessels to overcome blockages," Malin said.
Dr. Malins says the study only looked at the drugs' reaction in laboratory mice, not in humans. He says further research is needed with human subjects before reaching any final conclusions.
Proton pump inhibitors are widely prescribed under brand names including Prilosec and Prevacid.