Studies Prove Sweet Potatoes Heal Stomach Ulcers

New Studies Prove Sweet Potatoes HEAL Stomach Ulcers

By  Dr. Michelle Kmiec

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Did you know that studies now prove that the chemicals found in sweet potatoes can  actually heal stomach ulcers?  And not just any type of ulcers –  Peptic Ulcers!  These are the ulcers that  so many people suffer from, which begin as ‘casual’  heartburn. Though there are many causes for the development of peptic ulcers, I think we can all agree that the  Standard American Diet (SAD)  is certainly a major contributor, along with the unrelenting stress of today’s “hurry it up” lifestyle!

Typically, the treatment of choice for this condition in pharmaceutical  medicine is none other than  Nexium (esomeprazole)  – available  by prescription only. Another popular heartburn pharmaceutical is  Prilosec  – which is  even more popular now, since it became  available over-the-counter (OTC).

Don’t you just love the Prilosec commercial with  “Larry the Cable Guy”? He is  certainly my choice as a “health  adviser” (yep, said with sarcasm!) What does he say? Something like  “Americans love their food, so treat frequent heartburn with Prilosec OTC to block the acid that causes it – so you don’t get heartburn in the first place.”

OR…. wouldn’t improving  your diet be a better choice?!

More Than Just An Ordinary Spud

A study published in  Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2012  set out to find just how effective the anti-ulcer activity in sweet potatoes actually was against peptic ulcers. The results showed the following:

The results of the present study showed that TE possessed  gastro-protective activity as evidenced by its significant inhibition of mean ulcer score and ulcer index  and a marked increase in GSH, SOD, CAT, GPx, and GR levels and reduction in lipid peroxidation in a dose  dependent  manner.

This translates to:  The sweet potato was very effective!

The researchers concluded:

This study demonstrates that the tubers of Ipomoea batatas possess a  potent ulcer healing effect, which appear to be related to the free radical scavenging activity of the phyto-constituents, and their ability to inhibit lipid peroxidative processes. The present study, thus, aims to highlight the health benefits of sweet potato, establish it as a  potent “functional food” and promote its use as a vegetable to enrich people’s diets.

By the way,  Ipomoea batatas  is simply the fancy scientific name for Sweet Potato.

But I hear some of your questions and concerns  already:

  • “Aren’t  sweet potatoes high in starchy carbohydrates?”
  • “I am trying to lose weight, so how can I eat them?”
  • “I am doing The Paleo diet and some they say “NO” to sweet potatoes”
  • “I am diabetic, so I definitely can’t eat them”
  • “I am on a low carbohydrate  diet, to lower my cholesterol and protect myself from heart disease. I don’t think sweet potatoes should be on my menu.”

Well, those are some awesome questions and I’d love to answer them!

All About Sweet Potatoes

Though sweet potatoes are a starchy carbohydrate, they have something  unique  that those of you on a  low carbohydrate  diet AND diabetes will love! A low Glycemic Index (GI).  This refers to how fast blood sugar levels rise after eating a certain food.

If a food has a  high GI, this means the carbohydrate breaks down quickly and releases high amounts of glucose into the bloodstream quickly, triggering a surge of insulin.  This then can quickly cause a drop in blood sugar  making you feel fatigued and hungry again.  A major issue with this cycle is that it can lead to obesity, diabetes, inflammation and other chronic health conditions.

The bottom line?  The lower the GI level, the lower the  blood  glucose  spike and the more sustained is energy released to the body. When using a GI scale, the reference number is 0 to  100, so any food getting close to 100 is considered having a high GI.

And guess what?  The sweet potato has a LOW GI!  Ranging from 40-50, depending on what source you use. In contrast,  the white potato range averages from 60-90.

Even more good news! A recent study done at the  University of Agriculture in Pakistan  found the properties of the sweet potato may actually  help those with diabetes.  One of the contributing doctors, Dr. Jon Allen, CALS professor of  Food Science  said the following:

With further research in this area, it may be possible to recommend that people with  diabetes or insulin resistance consume sweet potatoes  or use extracts of North Carolina sweet potato to  help control blood glucose…

This therapy should  cost less than conventional drugs, and it may have  fewer side effects…

We’re hoping that diet, particularly the consumption of sweet potatoes, will become a more widely used  tool in the treatment of diabetes…It has the potential to be more cost-effective than drugs.

One of the issues with white potatoes (particularly for those who closely  manage their blood sugar levels) is that their GI  can actually change depending on the cooking methods used.  So is that also true of the sweet potato?  Research shows it is not the case.  Published in the  The Open Nutrition Journal, 2012, researchers found that:

Sweet potato samples had Glycemic Indices that were  low to medium despite different methods of cooking.  This may  prove beneficial for diabetic patients who consume sweet potatoes.

And as if this  weren’t  enough to get you on the sweet potato train, more research published in  Asia Pac J Clin Nutr  2008  showed that sweet potatoes can  decrease lipid peroxidation, which is attributed to inflammation and contributes to:

Following this 2008 study, the researchers  concluded that:

Polyphenols in plant foods may contribute to  decreased risk of chronic diseases because of an array of their putative mechanism of actions, i.e., antioxidation, antiinflammation, and anti-proliferation.

Now regarding the  inclusion or exclusion of sweet potato from the Paleo Diet, it seems this depends on whose version of the Paleo diet you decide to abide by. It appears that sweet potatoes, though not part of the Paleo diet, strictly speaking, has gotten the virtual green light from  some, like  Robb Wolf,  who developed a modified version of the diet.  So, for those who have issues with gaining weight (I being one of those people) while maintaining the energy to exercise  moderately  to extremely hard, you may find Robb Wolf’s version of the Paleo diet more suitable.

Though I am personally in favor of the Paleo diet, as with anything, not all shoe sizes fit everyone. My advice is to be smart and choose a dietary lifestyle that suits you best. You will know when you’ve found it  because  you will:

  • Have increased energy
  • Sleep well at night
  • Maintain optimal weight for your body structure, constitution and activity level
  • And boast a feeling of well-being!

If you haven’t already,  isn’t  it worth revisiting this amazing spud  – the Sweet Potato!


Previous articles by Dr. Michelle:

About the author:

dr michelle kmiec

Dr. Michelle Kmiec is a board certified chiropractic physician who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology, and a minor in Medical Research. She is a life-long athlete who after curing herself 100% naturally from MS and anxiety, became an avid nutrition health researcher/promoter. She has been featured in many Health magazines, and has been a guest on radio talk shows in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia. She is the author of Health Freedom Revolution: Exposing the Lies, Deceit and Greed of the Medical Profession’, Founder of Online Holistic Health, and a contributing writer for other popular informative health website/blogs. She is also founder of The Triad of Life™ Holistic Lifestyle Program – the most comprehensive holistic program on the internet today.

For more information, visit Online Holistic Health or connect with Dr. Michelle Kmiec on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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