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 EDUCATIONAL FORUM
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 624-627

Vitamin-C as anti-Helicobacter pylori agent: More prophylactic than curative- Critical review


1 Department of Medical Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, USA
2 Department of Research, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, D1, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110070, India
3 Special Center for Molecular Medicine, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi - 110067, India

Correspondence Address:
Jagannath Pal
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.89814

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Potential of nonantibiotic therapies for treatment of Helicobacter pylori-related acid peptic disease remains underexplored. Several clinical studies have shown that higher prevalence of H. pylori infection is associated with low Vitamin C (Vit C) level in serum and gastric juice. However, there is no consensus regarding the usefulness of Vit C supplementation in the management of H. pylori infection. Surveying the existing literature we conclude that high concentration of Vit C in gastric juice might inactivate H. pylori urease, the key enzyme for the pathogen's survival and colonization into acidic stomach. Once infection established, urease is not very important for its survival. The role of Vit-C as anti-H. pylori agent in peptic ulcer diseases appears to be preventive rather than curative. Rather than supplementing high dose of Vit C along with conventional triple therapy, it is preferable to complete the conventional therapy and thereafter start Vit C supplementation for extended period which would prevent reinfection in susceptible individuals, provided the patients are not achlorhydric. Further studies are required to prove the role of Vit C in susceptible population.






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