Effect of proton pump inhibitors on vitamins and iron

Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Mar;104 Suppl 2:S5-9. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2009.45.


Vitamin C is actively secreted in human gastric juice. Proton pump inhibitor therapy lowers the concentration of vitamin C in gastric juice and the proportion of the vitamin in its active antioxidant form i.e., ascorbic acid. This has secondary effects on intragastric nitrite chemistry, resulting in a rise in gastric juice nitrite levels. There is also some evidence that proton pump inhibitors may reduce the bioavailability of ingested vitamin C. The effect of proton pump inhibitors on vitamin C and nitrite chemistry is more marked in Helicobacter pylori-infected subjects. Proton pump inhibitors also reduce the absorption of vitamin B(12) probably by inhibiting intragastric proteolysis and, thus, its release from food required prior to binding to R-proteins and gastric intrinsic factor. Under certain circumstances, the treatment may lower serum vitamin B(12) levels. Proton pump inhibitor therapy reduces the absorption of non-heme iron and this effect has been employed in the management of hemochromatosis. It may also retard clinical response to iron supplementation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Biological Availability
  • Gastric Juice
  • Helicobacter Infections / metabolism
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Omeprazole / pharmacology
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin B 12 / metabolism
  • Vitamins / metabolism*


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Vitamins
  • Iron
  • Omeprazole
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Ascorbic Acid