Background: Vitamin C is an important endogenous antioxidant, and epidemiologic evidence suggests that it may protect against the development of gastric cancer. We therefore determined mucosal vitamin-C levels in the stomach and duodenum of subjects with and without Helicobacter pylori infection. Methods: The patients were 30 subjects undergoing routine gastroscopy for investigation of dyspepsia. High-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection was used to determine mucosal ascorbic acid and total vitamin-C levels. Results: In H. pylori-negative subjects with normal gastroduodenal histology the antrum contained significantly higher levels of ascorbic acid and total vitamin C than the corpus or duodenum (P < 0.05). No significant changes were seen in gastric mucosal ascorbic acid or total vitamin-C levels in the presence of H. pylori infection and related inflammation. The presence of gastric atrophy did not affect mucosal ascorbic acid or total vitamin C levels. Duodenal ascorbic acid and total vitamin-C levels did not change significantly in the presence of gastric H. pylori or duodenal inflammation. Conclusions: Although high levels of vitamin C are present in the gastroduodenal mucosa, these are not altered in the presence of H. pylori infection and inflammation. These observations suggest that the mucosal antioxidant potential of vitamin C is not impaired by H. pylori infection.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
P. S. Phull was partly funded by a grant from Glaxo Research & Development, UK. Results of this study were presented at the British Society of Gastroenterology Spring meeting in 1996 and published in abstract form in Gut 1996;38 Suppl 1:A3
- Helicobacter pylori
- Vitamin C