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Recalled Heartburn Med Is Back

From eNewsletter 6/14/2021

DID YOU KNOW that daily probiotic use helps protect against upper-respiratory-tract infection (URTI) symptoms in older adults (age 45 and over) and those who are overweight, according to new research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2021? The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found a 27% reduction of URTI in those taking a supplement made of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria strains versus those who took the placebo for six months. Yes!

Single Edition Newsletter for June 14th Our paid edition includes 8 segments that aren't in our free version:

  • Well Connect Feature: Our Opinion of Creatine.

  • Menu Savvy: Replacing Meat and Dairy With Plants?

  • Genetics Update: The Real Starting Point for Aging

  • Brand Buzz: Soothing Aloe Cream | Nut-Based Greek Yogurt

  • Intelligently Active: Tai Chi or the Gym for Your Waistline?

  • Mental Minute: Triumphant Nod to Flavanols

  • Wild Card: Another Reason to Achieve Optimal Weight

  • eInspire: Quote from Aldous Huxley

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UPDATE: Our COVID-19 Vaccine Opinion This document was updated June 14th.

Virus Prevention And Treatment Vaccines will minimize COVID-19 related mortality and hospitalizations, but SARS-CoV-2 is not going away, as evidenced by its ever-mutating variants. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 is not the only virus we fight. There are influenza (flu), norovirus (stomach flu), adenovirus (common cold), and four other coronaviruses (common cold), among others. We highly recommend continuing your immune support. For more information, refer to our Prevent and Fight Viruses 2.0 Protocol.

COVID-19 Condition Monograph For those interested in conventional and integrative treatments for COVID-19 with over 250 references, this is our COVID-19 Condition Monograph.

Post-COVID Syndrome (PCS) If you, or someone you know, has PCS, we provide individualized consultation or our Post-COVID Syndrome Action Plan. Paid yearly NCI Well Connect members can access it for free here.


Steve and Bonnie: In 2020, the FDA issued a recall of all versions of a heartburn medication called ranitidine, better known as over-the-counter (OTC) Zantac, due to a potential cancer risk.

Last month, Zantac relaunched with a new name and different ingredients: Zantac 360 (famotidine). Pepcid, which we recommended to replace Zantac during the recall, also contains the active ingredient famotidine.

Famotidine and ranitidine are both in the same class of medications, H2 blockers, to treat heartburn, acid reflux, and other stomach conditions.

Do Not Go Back to Zantac

While we are not a proponent of any H2 blocker, simply because they block absorption of vital vitamins and minerals, the new ingredients in Zantac 360 are worse than Pepcid AC Original Strength. And that's saying something considering the bar was not set very high for Pepcid. Here's a breakdown of the three OTC Famotidine brands available:

Pepcid AC Original Strength

Active ingredient: Famotidine 10 mg

Inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, red iron oxide, talc, titanium dioxide.

Comment: Talc and titanium dioxide should be removed from oral consumption because research suggests they are carcinogenic (cancer-causing chemicals). At least the preglatinized starch is easier to tolerate for those with compromised digestive systems.

Zantac 360

Active ingredient: Famotidine 10 or 20 mg

Inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, corn starch, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, red iron oxide, sodium starch glycolate, talc, titanium dioxide, yellow iron oxide.

Comment: Corn starch is the second ingredient, making it much tougher on the digestive system. Anyone who is corn intolerant will have a brutal time with this pill. As you can see, talc and titanium dioxide are also in the ingredients.

Major Heartburn Relief

Active ingredient: Famotidine 20 mg

Inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, lactose (monohydrate), magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, and titanium dioxide.

Comment: This is a non-starter because it contains lactose, talc, and titanium dioxide. It is also a 20 mg. dose, which is too much in our opinion.

Treating Heartburn

Begrudgingly, if you must take an acid blocker, we recommend the Pepcid AC Original Strength. Take one 10 mg tablet 15 to 20 minutes before eating and only a second tablet if absolutely necessary.

If we had our druthers, diet and lifestyle modification, as well as our Alka Support acid balancing supplement (which does not block stomach acid) would be the protocol for anyone with an acid problem.


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