A study from the University of California at San Francisco, found that people with low levels of vitamin C are at increased risk for infection with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and cancers.

Dr. Joel A. Simon analyzed blood from 7,000 adults and found that those with the highest blood levels of vitamin C had a 25 percent lower infection rate with Helicobacter, than people with low levels of vitamin C. This does not tell you whether infection lowers blood levels of vitamin C or higher blood levels of vitamin C prevent infection with Helicobacter, but animal studies show that vitamin C prevents infection with Helicobacter.

In 1982, Barry Marshall showed that Helicobacter causes stomach ulcers and more recent studies show that Helicobacter also may cause stomach cancer. Lack of vitamin C impairs immunity, so eat lots of fruits and vegetables even if vitamin C doesn't prevent Helicobacter.

Journal of the American College of Nutrition, August 1,2003.

Checked 5/3/07

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