Vitamin C: No Ulcers and So Much More

August 19, 2009

Antioxidants KO Bacteria.

stomach-acheVitamin C does a lot more than fend off the common cold. This premier antioxidant now appears to attack nasty bacteria linked to heartburn and ulcers.

The most prevalent bacteria outside the human body, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) can infect three-quarters of the world’s population. And once it gets inside the body, H. pylori knows tricks other bacteria don’t know about.

While stomach acid is usually strong enough to kill most pathogens, H. pylori shields itself from harm with a special enzyme called urease, which reacts with waste materials to neutralize acid. Protected by this enzymatic process, H. pylori is then able to work its way through the layer of mucus that protects the lining of the stomach from acid.

If this bacteria flourishes, the stomach makes extra acid to attack it—doing nothing to harm the wily H. pylori. The result? You suffer indigestion and heartburn, while eventually an ulcer can form, allowing stomach acid to enter the body and eat away at blood vessels.

This can cause serious bleeding, and if the damage continues for too long, partially digested food and bacteria travel into your stomach cavity. This causes a painful condition known as a perforated ulcer, leading to severe inflammation that requires surgery to correct.

Obviously, the sooner you can knock out H. pylori, the less risk you have of developing painful indigestion and damaging ulcers. New research finds that vitamin C—and sometimes vitamin E—can effectively eradicate this bacteria.

Conventional medicine’s first line of attack in treating ulcers is using antibiotic drugs. Research with people infected with H. pylori shows that taking vitamin C (250 mg twice a day) allows them to lower their drug dosage.

In a more recent study this kind of drug therapy effectively knocked out only 60 percent of H. pylori bacteria—less than the 80 percent eradication rate medicine aims to achieve. But adding the  antioxidants C and E neutralized 91 percent of this bacteria!

Think you’ve got an ulcer?  The best clue is fiery, stabbing pain between your navel and breastbone right after eating, though sometimes you can suffer ulcer pain on an empty stomach. Endoscopy (putting a tiny camera down your throat), breath and blood testing, or stool samples are the most common diagnostic tools for ulcers.

Dr Ann Louise’s Take:

Ever since I read about the work of Fred Klenner, M.D. who used intravenous vitamin C back in the 1940’s to treat polio and other “incurables,”  I have been a staunch believer in vitamin C. It has been used since then by integrative medicine docs to challenge cancer and heart disease as well as chelate heavy metals like mercury. So, I am not surprised that good old vitamin C can wage war against H. pylori.

Everybody needs vitamin C.  The body does not produce it on its own. I personally would recommend a lot more vitamin C than this study suggests, anywhere from 3,000 – 10,000 mg throughout the day. I use UNI KEY Time-C because it also contains Lysine (an antiviral amino acid) and Magnesium (a potent detoxifier).

Some of vitamin C’s other claims to fame are its ability to strengthen and build healthy collagen (so good for a wrinkle-free complexion) as well as maintain elasticity in the arteries.

Whatever you do, don’t buy into those heartburn commercials. Taking antacids or drugs  to tamp down stomach acid may only contribute to the growth of H. pylori.

Avoid irritating beverages— coffee and regular tea, soft drinks and other caffeine sources only aggravate an ulcer. Instead, drink plenty of pure water—half your body weight in ounces daily.

And don’t forget how prevalent H. pylori is these days. This bacteria can be carried in drinking water (even coliform tests can miss H. pylori) and has also been found in supermarket chicken, fish, pork, and seafood.

No one is sure why H. pylori causes ulcers in some people and not others. One answer is that probiotics, beneficial bacteria, help keep harmful bacteria—even this one—in check.

In addition, cabbage family vegetables like broccoli contain the antioxidant sulforaphane and fiber that help control H. pylori. Research shows that drinking cabbage juice daily helps relieve ulcers in only 10 days.


Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Maya Spector

    I’ve been taking about 14 grams of a Vitamin C/Lysine/Proline mixture a day in order to deal with high Lp(a) since the medical establishment knows of no way to help with this other than Niacin (which i can’t tolerate). It’s nice to see that the C is good for other things as well. If you know of any other recommendations for high Lp(a) I’d love to hear about it.

  2. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Dear Maya:
    Sounds like you are on the right track. A high EPA fish oil product would also be helpful to lower high Lp(a. Two caps twice a day of the Super EPA (the one I know most about) or 2 – 4 grams of another high #PA alternative. Good luck!

  3. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Dear Friends:
    I would love to answer each and every single one of your queries, as I have done to the best of my ability, in the past. The popularity of this Blog has grown to the extent that I can no longer provide that service but I am in the planning stages of an Internet – TV show where you can call in and get those questions answered by me in person! Please stay tuned for this exciting development. I first must complete a new manuscript and then will make some exciting announcements. In the interim, may I suggest that if you have questions about products, call UNI KEY at 1-800-888-4353. The folks there are helpful and will direct you accordingly. If you are concerned about a particular health condition, then by all means check out the Testing Kits on my site which will help you to determine underlying causes. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and interest!

  4. Tina Thomas

    Hello I have been really ill with h pylori bedridden for three weeks I have started to take vitamin c and I drink only water am only eating veg most green and whole meal bread some natural yogurt can you recommend anything to help rid my body of h pylori doctors gave me treatment but I want it to stay gone just waiting on results of blood test now so I don’t know if its gone yet if you have any ideas on how to get rid of h pylori please email me.thank you. Tina

    • Team ALG

      Hi Tina, Many people have had success with a combination of capsaicin, garlic, and deglycyrrhizinated licorice. A daily probiotic and supplemental iodine can be helpful, too. Hydrochloric acid is your body’s natural antibacterial, so an HCL supplement may be appropriate for you as well. Best wishes to you!

  5. Shawn Kayvon.

    I have severe burning/stabbing pain in my stomach between my chest and belly. I have been on Nexium (40 mg) a day for the last 13 days and the pain still continues, especially at nights to a point that I can not sleep, so I take Xanax to sleep, but I really don’t want to if I can get rid of my stomach problem. I don’t know what to eat or drink besides rice, potatoes, milk and water and just started to take Vit C (500 mg) and E (200 IU) today. I have a feeling it may be H. Pylori. please share your feedback with me.
    Best regards,

    • Team ALG

      Hi Shawn, You would greatly benefit from the information in The Gut Flush Plan by Ann Louise Gittleman. Reactive foods, low stomach acid, and flora imbalances are all likely culprits.

  6. Jenn

    Hi I’m currently 16 weeks pregnant I found out I had helicobacter pylori prior to fall pregnant go the treatment but couldn’t take it as I was breastfeeding. So now I’m looking for a pregnancy safe solution, I’m currently taking my multivitamin, 1000mg vit c, magnesium and a probiotic a day im getting bad reflux so im guessing I haven’t hit the nail on the head yet. Is there anything else that is safe in pregnancy that may help? Thanks heaps, Jenn

    • Team ALG

      Hi Jenn, You would greatly benefit from adding some foods that are healing and antibacterial. Broccoli sprouts, garlic and cayenne are all proven to help eliminate H. pylori. Ginger is also a powerful anti inflammatory. Raw cold pressed coconut oil is a great source of monolaurin, which would be helpful as well. Hydrochloric acid supplements can help kill the bacteria, too, but only use those if you do not have a compromised stomach lining. Please continue taking your probiotic as well. Best wishes to you!

  7. Starr


    My name is Starr, i had diverticulitis last year, and was treated with lots of antibiotics, after that the nightmare started, i have really bad pain , and my tongue hurts really bad from acid reflex. My tongue changes every day, and I ask many doctors what to do all the do is just give me medications, nothing helps. I had hp and its gone the last test showed, and i am still in pain, please someone tell me if you or anyone had same symptoms? When my tongue hurst i know for sure my stomach will hurt too…please help

  8. Jac Cuse

    Don’t be afraid of taking much more vitamin c, and in this case with heliobacter p. rather buffered with sodium bicarbonate (the acid becomes a salt, sodium ascorbate, which you could also buy instead of ascorbic acid). Try at least ten grams. Supplement with magnesium chloride, at least two grams per day. If you put both in a two quart bottle of drinking water it is spread over the day and tastes much less salty and bitter (the MgCl2). To give the hp a tripple whammy taking stabilized allicin (from garlic, like in Allimax or Allicin Max) will be really beneficial.

    Good luck!

  9. Makayla dunkle

    Hi I’m Makayla my husband has been sick for a week now, it started out as the stomach virus I believe and then irritated his ulcers! He’s having severe burning in his stomach and chest and is vomiting a lot! I just went and bought him vitamin E (400 IU) I gave him two and he’s been on it for a day and he’s also been taking Gavison and it seem a to be helping too! I ordered him a probiotic called pb8 which is in the top five for probiotics for men. I also ordered an essential enzyme which is also in the top one for men! I plan to start him on this when it arrives! How much vitiamin c should he be on??

    • Team ALG

      Ann Louise has suggested stating with 3,000 mg per day of the time release vitamin C.
      You could start with one and see how his stomach feels.

    • Jeanette

      vitamin E gave me severe stomach pain. I am not crazy.

      • Team ALG

        Jeanette, people do have individual reactions to different supplements. You always need to listen to your own body.

  10. Crystal Curry

    In December of 2016 I got a sore on my tongue I went to the doctor in January she thought I had thrush and gave me ten days of diflucan which didn’t work. In February I went back to the doctor and she did a swab on my tongue and saw no yeast but gave me tablets to suck on to kill yeast for 10 days and that didn’t work. Then I went back in March with my tongue so sore and white and was given 10 days of thrush medication that you swish and swallow. That didn’t work. I went to the doctor on the 4/3/17 and that doctor said I had an autoimmune disease and told me I didn’t have a yeast infection I had a ulcer on my tongue. He told me to take buffered c crystals with 3 ounces of water 3 times a day and hold it in my mouth for 5 minutes. That seems to be eating both my tongue and my lip and my stomach. I called the doctor today and he said to half the dose and continue to take it. I am getting so sick. What should I do? It has been 4 months with this ulcer and it is spreading.

    • Team ALG

      Crystal, please continue to consult with your doctor or another health care professional. We are not able to diagnose you accurately and are not able to give medical advice. If you do have yeast as one of the conditions you are fighting, the Y-C Cleanse will help you. It’s available at

    • Alice

      Sorry for the late reply…what happened with your tongue?

  11. Ferret91

    Try slippery elm as well as vitamin c helped me I have had inflammation is my stomach an ulcers struggling for 10 years now just started supplements one week ago and pain free



  1. How My Stomach Problems All Mean The Same Thing – You Make Beautiful Things - […] Vitamin C, No Ulcers, and So Much More! […]

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