Thursday, 18 July 2013


Doctors now commonly use the soft drink to treat patients with a nasty condition called gastric phytobezoar with a success rate of more than 90 per cent, a study said.
This is because the fizzy favourite has chemical ingredients that do a similar job to gastric acid while the bubbles help speed up the process, said researchers. Even the Diet and Coke Zero options work, because they have the same basic ingredients as the full fat version, said the report.
The researchers went through openly published academic papers that detailed 46 patients with the ailment who were treated with Coke in hospitals worldwide over the past 10 years.
A phytobezoar is a stomach blockage which, unless it is successfully removed or destroyed, can subsequently lead to a bowel obstruction. It is often caused by certain fruits which do not digest properly – for instance, in Asia many cases are a result of eating persimmons which are particularly prone to form blockages. A variety of treatments are available to treat it, from lasers and non-surgical endoscopies to the last resort of full surgery. But of the 46 cases patients given Coca-Cola, exactly half saw the drink destroy the blockage completely and a further 19 only needed non-invasive treatments as a result of Coke's help. Only four needed full surgery giving Coca-Cola a success rating of 91.3 per cent. They reported: "Coca-Cola administration is a cheap, easy-to-perform and safe procedure that can be accomplished at any endoscopy unit."
Coca-Cola has an acidity rating of 2.6 on the pH scale because it contains both carbonic and phosphoric acid.
The researchers added: "It resembles gastric acid, which is thought to be important for fibre digestion. "In addition the bubbles enhance the dissolving mechanism."
If the Coke does not completely destroy whatever is causing the blockage then it is likely to make it smaller and soften the phytobezoar making it easy to remove without the need for full surgery, the report said.

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