It was Nathan’s annual Hot Dog Eating Competition yesterday, a July 4th tradition in America. Matt “Megatoad” Stonie was this year’s champ, downing an obscene 62 dogs in 10 minutes.
Based on the calorie count of one hot dog, Stonie devoured 17,360 calories, 1,116 grams of fat, and 48,360 milligrams of sodium.
That can’t be good for your heart.
Surprisingly, heartburn medicine is just as likely to increase the risk of heart attack as those hot dogs (not all 62 of them, of course).
Journal PLOS ONE published a study showing how the powerful acid-blocking medications, called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), were linked to a two-fold higher risk of cardiovascular death. PPIs are said to increase the risk of pneumonia, anemia, and osteoporosis, too. With roughly 21 million in the U.S. using PPIs, the health implications could be massive.
The acid blockers are very popular in the U.S., and they work. Besides over the counter PPIs, prescribed medications are helpful for patients diagnosed with stomach ulcers, gastritis, or esophagitis.
The problem is they’re being used long term, while the recommendation is for 4-8 weeks of use. This creates a physical dependence; one side effect, for example, is a brutal rebound of stomach acid production – or, what the PPIs were supposed to alleviate in the first place. That’s why they keep coming back to it, and thereby increasing their risk of heart attack as the months and years go by.
Investigative health practitioners are now working to eliminate why heartburn exists in the first place, keeping heartburn meds out of the equation.
Here are some of their tips to purge heartburn:
- A trial off dairy, gluten, coffee, chocolate, fried foods, or alcohol.
- Breathing practices, guided imagery, yoga, or similar practices to reduce stress.
- Keep your weight in check.
So keep eating those hot dogs – not at a Stonie level – but don’t bother with the meds afterwards. Might as well have another dog, right?