What causes Ulcers?
Even though duodenal and gastric ulcers occur at different locations, they appear to be the result of similar mechanisms. Specifically, the development of a duodenal or gastric ulcer is a result of some factor damaging the protective factors which line the stomach and duodenum such as too much gastric acid, the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and various drugs, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and prednisone.
What dietary factors are important in an Ulcer?
Food allergy appears to be a primary factor in many cases of duodenal or gastric ulcers. A diet that eliminates food allergens has been used with great success in treating and preventing recurrent duodenal or gastric ulcers. It is especially important to avoid milk and dairy products. Milk is one of the most common food allergen, and population studies show the higher the milk consumption, the greater the likelihood of duodenal or gastric ulcers. Milk, as well as coffee, significantly increases stomach acid production. Both should be avoided by the individual with duodenal or gastric ulcers.
A high-fiber diet is associated with a reduced rate of duodenal or gastric ulcers, as compared with a low-fiber diet, by decreasing prolonged stomach acidity Fiber supplements (e.g., pectin, guar gum, oat bran and psyllium) have been shown to produce beneficial effects as well.
In addition, raw cabbage juice is well documented as having remarkable success in treating duodenal or gastric ulcers. In one study, 1 liter of fresh raw cabbage juice per day, taken in divided amounts, resulted in total duodenal or gastric ulcers healing in an average of only ten days. The beneficial effect is thought to be due to the amino acid glutamine, which is needed by the cells on the surface of the small intestine to regenerate. Broccoli and Brussels’ sprouts are in the same family as cabbage and regular consumption is helpful in preventing recurrence of duodenal or gastric ulcers as these foods are rich in sulforaphane, a compound that may be effective for helping the body get rid of Helicobacter pylori. This bacteria is responsible for most peptic ulcers and also increases a person's risk of getting gastric cancer three to six-fold, and is also a causative factor in a wide range of other stomach disorders including gastritis, esophagitis, and acid indigestion.