A literature research and review

Vitamin C, Gastritis, and Gastric Disease: a historical review and update

The discovery of Helicobacter pylori as the cause of gastritis and peptic ulcers ushered in the modern era of research into gastritis and into acid-peptic diseases and rekindled interest in the role of ascorbic acid in the pathophysiology and treatment of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Here, we review historic and modern studies on ascorbic acid and gastric diseases with an emphasis on H. pylori gastritis and its sequelae. The relationship of ascorbic acid and gastritis and peptic ulcer and its complications was extensively studied during the 1930’s through the 1950’s. Much of this extensive literature has been effectively “lost”. Ascorbic acid deficiency was associated with all forms of gastritis (e.g., autoimmune, chemical, and infectious) due in varying degrees to insufficient intake, increased metabolic requirements, and destruction within the GI tract. Importantly, gastritis-associated abnormalities in gastric ascorbic acid metabolism are reversed by H. pylori eradication and potentially worsened by proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy. Diets rich in naturally occuring ascorbic acid are associated with protection of the gastric corpus from atrophy and a reduction in the incidence of gastric cancer possibly through the ability of ascorbic acid to reduce oxidative damage to the gastric mucosa by scavenging carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds and free radicals and attenuating the H. pylori-induced inflammatory cascade. Ascorbic acid supplementation was possibly associated with a decreased incidence of bleeding from peptic ulcer disease. Pharmacologic doses of ascorbic acid also may improve the effectiveness of H. pylori eradication therapy. Occasionally, looking back can help plot the way forward.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori, ascorbic acid, vitamin C, peptic ulcer, gastritis, pernicious anemia, gastric cancer, dehydroascorbic acid, ntestinal metaplasia, gastrointestinal bleeding, absorption https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3874117/

Hemorrhage associated with vitamin C deficiency in surgical patients.
Diffuse hemorrhage in surgical patients with normal coagulation parameters may be caused by vitamin C deficiency and is rapidly reversed by vitamin C replacement.
Patients treated on a surgical service were entered into a clinical registry over a 12-month period if they experienced diffuse hemorrhage in the face of normal coagulation parameters and a plasma ascorbic acid level < 0.6 mg/dL (normal 0.6-2.0 mg/dL). Oral vitamin C replacement was administered after determination of plasma ascorbic acid level. Response to therapy, including subsequent bleeding events, need for blood transfusions, and demographic data including social and dietary history were retrospectively reviewed from hospital and outpatient clinic records. RESULTS: Twelve patients with bleeding diatheses and low plasma ascorbic acid levels were identified. Plasma ascorbic acid levels were 0.1 to 0.5 mg/dL (mean, 0.3 mg/dL). There were 6 men and 6 women; age ranged from 46 to 90 years (mean, 78 years). Coagulation parameters were normal in all patients. Diffuse postoperative bleeding from nonsurgical causes was evident in 10 of 12 patients. Four patients, 2 of whom had operations, presented with chronic recurrent blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract. Each patient received 250 to 1000 mg of vitamin C replacement daily. Within 24 hours of vitamin C administration, there was no further evidence of clinical bleeding nor need for subsequent blood transfusions in any patient. CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin C deficiency should be included in the differential diagnosis of nonspecific bleeding in surgical patients. Prolonged hospitalization, severe illness, and poor diet create vitamin C deficiency with significant clinical consequences. Oral vitamin C replacement rapidly reverses the effects of this disorder. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11935131

Role of vitamins in gastrointestinal diseases

A tremendous amount of data from research was published over the past decades concerning the roles of different vitamins in various gastrointestinal diseases. For instance, most vitamins showed an inverse relationship with the risk of colorectal carcinoma as well as other malignancies like gastric and esophageal cancer in observational trials, however interventional trials failed to prove a clear beneficial preventive role. On the other hand, more solid evidence was obtained from high quality studies for a role of certain vitamins in specific entities. Examples for this include the therapeutic role of vitamin E in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, the additive role of vitamins B12 and D to the standard therapy of chronic hepatitis C virus, the role of vitamin C in reducing the risk of gallstones, the positive outcome with vitamin B12 in patients with aphthous stomatitis, and the beneficial effect of vitamin D and B1 in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Other potential uses are yet to be elaborated, like those on celiac disease, pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, cholestasis and other potential fields. Data from several ongoing interventional trials are expected to add to the current knowledge over the coming few years. Given that vitamin supplementation is psychologically accepted by patients as a natural compound with relative safety and low cost, their use should be encouraged in the fields where positive data are available. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4419060/

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