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Vitamin C fights ulcer causing bacteria

A report in the journal Cancer suggests that vitamin C may inhibit the growth Helicobacter pylori, a stomach bacterium that increases the risk of ulcers and stomach cancer.

High concentrations of vitamin C inhibited the growth of bacteria in culture dishes and also in the stomachs of Mongolian gerbils, according to researchers at the International Medical Center of Japan in Tokyo.

Vitamin C rich diets have been found to decrease the risk of stomach cancer. This has been attributed to the antioxidant ability of vitamin C. However, vitamin E, which is also an antioxidant does not inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori. This suggests that vitamin C may exert its protective effects through a biochemical mechanism.

This research suggest the possibility of a safe, side-effect free alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of ulcers.

Cancer 1997;80(10):1897-1903