Heartburn drugs may improve blood sugar in people with diabetes

Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya/ Pexels

In a study from the University of Maryland, scientists found antacids improved blood sugar control in people with diabetes but had no effect on reducing the risk of diabetes in the general population.

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 blood sugar.

In the study, the team 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 blood sugar 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.

The research showed 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.

The team says for people without diabetes, taking antacids did not significantly alter their risk of developing the disease.

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.

If you care about blood sugar, please read studies about how to control diabetes apart from blood sugar levels, and people with diabetes can eat these breads without blood sugar rise.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about the link between COVID-19 and diabetes, and results showing scientists find way to treat diabetes without drugs.

The study was conducted by Carol Chiung-Hui Peng et al and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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