Mending an ulcer

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Natural remedies like red wine and zinc carnosine may significantly improve his recovery.

IT'S NOT STRESS. Ulcers are primarily caused by a bacterium called H. pylori, and the next most common determinant is regular use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, says Georges M. Halpern, M.D., professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, and author of Ulcer Free. "Men who take NSAIDs regularly should check with a doctor often and be on the lookout for blood in the stool, weakness, shortness of breath, paleness, or — more ominously — a very hard belly," warns Halpern.

Effective remedies include drinking red wine (only with meals) and eating yogurt. The natural supplement zinc carnosine coats ulcers and helps them heal; it also stimulates mucus production, which protects the stomach lining. A study in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics showed that taking antibiotics to kill H. pylori, along with medication to control stomach acid, had an 86 percent success rate; when zinc carnosine was added, positive response was 100 percent.

To treat an ulcer, take 75 milligrams of zinc carnosine in divided doses each day for eight weeks, says Halpern. But don't take it as a preventive unless you have very high risk factors for ulcers.

PHOTO (COLOR): Have a glass, but only with meals. the power

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By Sharon Cohen

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