Review By: Ali Al-Rajhi, Editor of the Public Health Bugle
Author: Jonathan V. Wright, M.D.
Publisher: Praktikos Books
In his book Your Stomach, Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. presents data that may correlate stomach problems American’s face with the antacids prescribed by doctors. Dr. Wright suggests we need stomach acid and when we consume antacids it only offers “short-term, symptomatic relief,” may worsen the problem (e.g., heartburn) over the long term since antacids ‘dilute’ our stomach’s normal acid (hydrochloric acid), and “may lead to a host of chronic diseases or infections.”
When skimming the book the first time, I noticed the narrative was only 38 pages, while the rest of the book consisted of the author’s notes, references, and index. Nonetheless, Dr. Wright gets his point across, which reaffirms the saying “verbosity can lead to inarticulate & unclear thoughts.” The book lays out the problems associated with drug interventions to reduce stomach acid and then asks a serious of questions in addressing the problem. For example, he questions the potential harm of antacids for bones. Dr. Wright indicates the benefits of having stomach acid: a barrier against unwanted microorganism and that it’s necessary in food digestion (e.g., breakdown of large proteins).
The book ends with Dr. Wright’s suggestions to alternative approaches to stomach problems, primarily avoid or limit consumption of antacids and use more natural means – e.g. “supplementing melatonin, the natural “sleep” hormone. Overall, the book is a quick read (about an hour or two) and informative.