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Protection of stomach from acid

We know that suppression of Cox-1 enzyme results in loss of the protective coating on the stomach wall, leaving it susceptible to attack by its own acid, possibly causing the development of gastric ulcers. When my horse develops an ulcer, I dose her with lecithin granules, since lecithin is a phospholipid similar to the stomach’s natural protective secretion — and it works. I dose about 1/3 cup per day. Now, my son, age 59, seems to have developed an ulcer, and his physicians claim no knowledge of the use of lecithin for this purpose. As an expert in your field, our questions are, what would be the suggested dosage, and are there side- or after-effects we should know about (there are none with my horse). Thank you very much. Walt Friedrich.

Answer:

Hello Walt, there is not a huge amount of human studies that suggest the benefit of Lecithin in the treatment of ulcers. However as you pointed out there has been some success with using it in the equine world. Lecithin is made up of Phospholipids which are a major component of cell membranes. It may well be of benefit, it just simply hasn’t been studied in humans for this condition. If you do with to use the granules, it can cause an upset stomach in some people as well as an allergy. It should be consumed with food, but away from fatty foods, to minimise the chance of an upset stomach. Also I would suggest choosing a non-GMO (non genetically modified) source of lecithin. Other foods you may want to consider are Alfalfa, spinach, avocados, kale which are rich sources of natural vitamin K. Vitamin K is responsible for the production of platelets that clot blood and prevent excessive bleeding, which may help reduce ulcer bleeding. Alcohol, Caffeine and fatty foods increase the production of stomach acid which will exacerbate the condition. Avoiding NSAID painkillers such as paracetamol and aspirin is also important. I would also recommend drinking camomile tea, as this has natural anti-inflammatory properties that have shown to be particularly useful in healing the digestive tract. If you have any further questions feel free to ask.

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