A Common Type of Antacid May Improve Blood Sugar Control in People With Diabetes

Generic Omeprazole Antacid

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — a commonly used type of antacid medication — improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes.

Antacids improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes but had no effect on reducing the risk of diabetes in the general population, according to a new meta-analysis published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Type 2 diabetes is a global public health concern affecting almost 10 percent of people worldwide. Doctors may prescribe diet and lifestyle changes, diabetes medications, or insulin to help people with diabetes better manage their blood sugar, but recent data points to common over-the-counter antacid medicines as another way to improve glucose levels.

“Our research demonstrated that prescribing antacids as an add-on to standard care was superior to standard therapy in decreasing hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels and fasting blood sugar in people with diabetes,” said study author Carol Chiung-Hui Peng, M.D., of the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus in Baltimore, Md.

“For people without diabetes, taking antacids did not significantly alter their risk of developing the disease,” said study author, Huei-Kai Huang M.D., of the Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital in Hualien, Taiwan.

Types of PPIs

There are many names and brands of PPIs. Most work equally as well. Side effects may vary from drug to drug.

  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
  • Rabeprazole (AcipHex)
  • Pantoprazole (Protonix)
  • Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant)
  • Zegerid (omeprazole with sodium bicarbonate)

The researchers performed a meta-analysis on the effects of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — a commonly used type of antacid medication — on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and whether these medications could prevent the new onset of diabetes in the general population.

The analysis included seven studies (342 participants) for glycemic control and 5 studies (244, 439 participants) for risk of incident diabetes.

The researchers found antacids can reduce HbA1c levels by 0.36% in people with diabetes and lower fasting blood sugar by 10 mg/dl based on the results from seven clinical trials. For those without diabetes, the results of the five studies showed that antacids had no effect on reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

“People with diabetes should be aware that these commonly used antacid medications may improve their blood sugar control, and providers could consider this glucose-lowering effect when prescribing these medications to their patients,” said study author Kashif Munir, M.D., associate professor in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and nutrition at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md.

Reference: “Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors on Glycemic Control and Incident Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” by Carol Chiung-Hui Peng, Yu-Kang Tu, Gin Yi Lee, Rachel Huai-En Chang, Yuting Huang, Khulood Bukhari, Yao-Chou Tsai, Yunting Fu, Huei-Kai Huang and Kashif M Munir, 30 June 2021, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgab353

Other authors of the study include: Yuting Huang and Khulood Bukhari of the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus in Baltimore, Md.; Yu-Kang Tu of the National Taiwan University and the Taipei Medical University in Taipei, Taiwan; Gin Yi Lee of the Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn.; Rachel Huai-En Chang of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Md.; Yao-Chou Tsai of the Taipei Medical University; Yunting Fu of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Md.

The manuscript received no external funding


View Comments

  • I am diabetic but I cannot take omeprazole any longer because of other prescription medications that I take now, including for high blood pressure. I still get heartburn and my doctor told me that I had to resort to taking Tums whenever I had a GERD attack.

    • I find WalMartd brand ultra strength antacid chews to work way better than tums or other type of chews. The few people I've recommended it too think so too. So might be worth a try.

  • I wonder prescribing polypharmacy to treat type 2 Diabetics is needed or not. Stopping carbs like rice and wheat can really reduce your post parandial blood sugar and daily Exercise can have double benifits.

  • So what happens if you take your meds and the heartburn med together? Article not clear about that.

  • I take high blood pressure med and also omeprazl and Zoloft and alive for fibromyalgia and I’m ok . My dr suggested it for my acid reflux . So why can’t you take it?

  • It must be noted that the authors used the term 'antacid' fast and loose and INACCURATELY. An antacid is a completely different medication than a proton pump inhibitor and needs to be properly identified as such and to ignore this fact is highly irresponsible and not ethical.

  • In the UK it's not advised to take omperazole or Esomperazole along with BP medication Clopidogrel. But switching to Lansoprazole is a suitable alternative PPI.

  • Please provide information on omeprazole's impact on memory. This hasn't been widely reported but have had doctors, in answer to addressing memory issues with patients, that omeprazole may be part of the issue. Upon learning that information I stopped taking omeprazole immediately.

  • Carol, I take heart meds which prevent me from taking Omeprazole. Ask ur DOC if you can take pantoprazo. It is working for me, no Herd.

  • I've been taking medication for heartburn for twenty years nexium and somac and now in the last six months got type 2 diabetes

  • Not to mention some of the longer term effects of taking PPIs for too long. Article writers should also include a blurb about other risks involved in taking them instead of highlighting it as a possible help for blood sugars.

The Endocrine Society

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