Saturday, June 17, 2006

Peptic Ulcers & Vitamin C

My wife has had a peptic ulcer for years. She had many treatments for it and the accompanying pain when she lived in Ukraine. When she moved here to the United States, her doctor had her tested for the presence of the bacterium called Helicobacter Pylori, or H. Pylori, which has been shown to be linked to peptic ulcers. Sure enough she tested positive.

Of course, I wanted her to take large amounts of vitamin C since it only made good sense to me that a bacterial infection should respond to high-dose C. She has been very skeptical of vitamin C as I recommend it and declined. The doctor prescribed a standard antibiotic regimen that consisted of cards of pills in a box half the size of a shoebox! She was to take a card (about eight pills, not the card!) a day for two weeks. Not a friend of pills, this didn’t last through the first morning. She agreed to try the C.

I mixed sodium ascorbate powder in a small water bottle for her to sip on during the day. Over the first week, I upped the amount of C from about 3 or 4 grams to 10. She has been taking 10 grams a day for about a month WITH NO PAIN WHATSOEVER! The vitamin C has eliminated the symptoms. Has it cured her ulcer? I don’t know, but I would expect that it has or is in the process of doing so.

I refer you to an article at Medical News Today “Vitamin C may protect against ulcer-causing bacteria” that discusses a study that was published in the August 1, 2003 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The study looked at data and blood samples from 7,000 adults and found that “the lower the level of vitamin C in the blood the more likely a person will become infected by Helicobacter pylori”.

From this information the researchers could make no conclusions of whether the infection lowers the level of vitamin C or if those with the higher levels were protected against the infection. From my research into vitamin C, my opinion would be that high levels would often prevent the infection, that if infected, vitamin C levels would be lowered as your body tried to mount a cure and, if adequate quantities are available, vitamin C will help your body cure this infection as it will most all others.