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Antacids May Increase Risk of Fractures and Infection

A series of studies released last week show that antacids may have serious side effects including increasing the risk of fractures and bacterial infections.

The studies were published in the May 2010 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The first study was conducted by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle. Over the course of 8 years, the Washington researchers studied 161,806 post-menopausal women between 50-79 years of age.

At the end of the study the researchers observed a significantly greater risk of fractures among women taking antacids, especially fractures of the wrist and spine.

The second study was conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School who analyzed over 100,000 patients discharged from hospitals over a 5 year period.

They found a 74% increase in the risk of developing a common and potentially fatal type of diarrhea called Clostridium difficile among people taking antacids daily.

The researchers noted that these findings should not encourage people to completely cut antacid use but if you take antacids you should be aware of the potential side effects.

If you suffer from indigestion, there are also some alternatives to taking antacids. For instance, garlic, onions and whole grains all contain probiotics, which are friendly bacteria that help aid digestion. You can also get probiotics in supplement form.

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