The Unexpected Burden: The Spiral Bacterium Increasing the Need For Vitamin-C?

Christine L. Foutch Naturopathic Physician Rock Island, Illinois

Christine Foutch is a practicing Holistic Physician in Rock Island, Illinois, specializing in Holistic Nutrition and Biomechanics. Holistic medicine is the art and the science of healing that addresses the whole person – body, mind, and spirit. The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies... more

For Your Health & Wellness Educational Purposes

Are you among those millions of Americans that experience something known as “fire in the belly?”

For more than a century now, it has been known that bacteria are present within the human stomach. Bacteria is also believed to be the contaminants of our ingested foods, rather than a true gastric-colonizer.

The discovery of helicobacter pylori as the cause of gastritis and peptic ulcers led to modern studies into gastritis and acid-peptic diseases. This caused researchers to be interested in the role of ascorbic acid (vitamin-c) in the pathophysiology and treatment of gastritis as well as peptic ulcer disease.

Helicobacter pylori was discovered in 1979; this discovery revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of peptic ulcers. It also led to a reduction in the prevalence of gastric cancer, becoming the first formally recognized bacterial carcinogen, as well as the most successful human pathogen. It is believed that over half of the world's population is colonized with this gram-negative bacterium.

The relationship between ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), gastritis, and peptic ulcers was extensively studied during the 1930s and 1950s. This extensive research showed that the deficiency of ascorbic acid (Vitamin-C) was associated with all forms of gastritis including, autoimmune, chemical, and infectious, due to the varying degrees of the insufficient intake of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). This insufficient intake leads to an increased need for metabolic functions, and later, the destruction of the gastrointestinal-tract.

Our foods have not become fortified until very recently. Adequate vitamin and mineral intake relied solely on our diets. In several regions, maintaining an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals was difficult, especially when winters were severe. In some areas, the weather was so severe that ascorbic-acid containing foods would became scarce or unavailable.

Vitamin C is a major water soluble antioxidant within the body, and the vitamin itself is an electron donor. Breaking chain reactions of lipid peroxidation, before the free radicals can even reach the cellular membrane, vitamin C starts quenching the free radicals’ need for electrons.

Vitamin C is required as a redox agent, removing as many free radicals as it can. Within this capacity, it is protecning DNA, protein, and vessel walls from damage.

Vitamin C is also necessary for the production of collagen, which is responsible for DNA’s triple helix shape. A vitamin C deficiency leads to an impaired collagen-synthesis, which causes fragile capillaries, poor wound healing, and bone abnormalities in affected children and adults.

Diets rich in ascorbic acid are associated with the protection of gastrointestinal tissues against damage and wasting away, as well as a reduction in the incidence of gastric cancer. Ascorbic acid can reduce the oxidative damage to the gastric mucosa by scavenging carcinogenic compounds and free radicals and reducing any of the H. pylori-induced inflammatory cascade.

In addiction, any gastritis-associated abnormalities in the gastric tissues’ abilities in the metabolism of the ascorbic acid, which becomes reversed with the eradication H. pylori bacteria.