Aim: To test whether vitamin C and E supplements to triple therapy can improve the Helicobacter pylori eradication rate and gastric inflammation.
Methods: A total of 104 H. pylori-infected patients were randomized to receive: either lansoprazole, amoxicillin, and metronidazole twice daily for 1 week (triple-only group) or lansoprazole, amoxicillin, metronidazole plus vitamin C (250 mg) and vitamin E (200 mg) twice daily for 1 week, followed immediately by vitamin C and E once daily for 6 consecutive weeks (triple-plus-vitamin group). Eight weeks after the completion of triple therapy, patients were assessed for the effectiveness of H. pylori eradication. The severity of gastric inflammation in histology was assessed for the acute and chronic inflammation scores.
Results: Intention-to-treat and per-protocol eradication rates were 59.1% and 64.4% in the triple-only group, and 40% and 44% in the triple-plus-vitamin group. In the patients infected with metronidazole susceptible isolates, the triple-only group had a higher intention-to-treat eradication rate than those in the triple-plus-vitamin group (80% vs. 53.1%, p <.01). However, for the metronidazole resistance isolates, the intention-to-treat eradication rates between the two groups were not different (26.3% vs. 21.7%, p = NS). The improvements of both acute and chronic inflammation scores in histology were not different between the two groups.
Conclusion: Adding vitamin C and E to triple therapy cannot improve the H. pylori eradication rate and gastric inflammation. For patients with metronidazole susceptible strain infection, adding these vitamins may even reduce the eradication rate of triple therapy.