Antacids improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes

Providers could consider this glucose-lowering effect when prescribing these medications to their patients.

Doctors may recommend diet and lifestyle changes, diabetes prescriptions, or insulin to assist individuals with diabetes in better manage their blood sugar. A new study finds another way to improve glucose levels.

The study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that antacids may improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. However, it did not affect reducing the risk of diabetes in the general population.

Study author Carol Chiung-Hui Peng, M.D., of the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus in Baltimore, Md said, “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.”

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

To determine whether proton pump inhibitors (PPI) can improve glycemic control among individuals with diabetes, scientists performed a meta-analysis on the effects of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) 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) to risk incident diabetes.

Scientists found that antacids can reduce HbA1c levels by 0.36% in people with diabetes and lower fasting blood sugar by 10 mg/dl based on seven clinical trials. Although, it had no effect on reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

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 said“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.”

Journal Reference:
  1. Carol Chiung-Hui Peng et al., Effects of Proton Pump Inhibitors on Glycemic Control and Incident Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (2021). DOI: 10.1210/clinem/dgab353

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