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Vitamin C may Prevent Stomach Ulcers

Reported August 4, 2003

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Researchers say high levels of vitamin C in the blood have the potential to prevent peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.

A study led by researchers from the San Francisco VA Medical Center analyzed the relationship between vitamin C levels and infection by Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes peptic ulcers, and found those individuals with lower levels of vitamin C in their blood were more likely to become infected by the bacteria.

Researchers tested blood samples of more than 7,000 adults for H. pylori infection. Joel A. Simon, M.D., of San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California- San Francisco, found more than half of those who tested positive showed evidence of infection. Vitamin C levels were also analyzed and Dr. Simon says, “Participants with the highest blood levels of vitamin C had a 25-percent lower prevalence of infection.”

It is unclear whether the infection lowers vitamin C levels in the blood or if higher blood levels of vitamin C protect against infection, but Dr. Simon says, “It would still be prudent for people who test positive for H. pylori infection to increase their intake of vitamin C,” because it mitigates the effects of the infection. Experts say about one in 10 Americans will develop an ulcer at some time in their lives.

This article was reported by, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, click on the buttom below.

SOURCE: Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2003;22:283-289


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