Vitamin C Improves Gastric Health

KRAKOW, Poland–

According to a study published in the August issue of European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (17, 8:857-863, 2005), vitamin C supplementation combined with Heliobacter pylori eradication, may improve gastric mucosa health in patients with multifocal atrophic gastritis (MAG), and may interfere with the progress of morphological changes in MAG towards gastric cancer.

Researchers from the Jagiellonian University Medical College treated 51 patients diagnosed with MAG with H. Pylori eradication therapy and 1g/d of vitamin C for three months. A group of 92 age- and sex-matched patients with dyspepsia served as controls. Patients' exocrine (gastric acid) and endocrine (gastrin) gastric secretions were tested before and after vitamin C treatment and H. pylori eradication. Although H. pylori eradication and vitamin C therapy failed to reverse the histological atrophy of the gastric mucosa, they did significantly improve the functional status of the atrophied mucosa, especially its exocrine and endocrine secretory activities. The combination therapy also reduced the expression of premalignant markers, raised the production of growth factors, and diminished the release of proinflammatory cytokines.

Researchers concluded H. pylori eradication and vitamin C supplementation may improve MAG and MAG-related gastric cancer risk.

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