Coca-cola is an effective cure for stomach blockages because of its chemical composition and bubbles. That’s the claim of a new study. Researchers at the Medical School of Athens University studied already published academic papers that analysed 46 patients with the condition known as gastric phytobezoar.
Those patients, drawn from all over the world, were treated with Coke in hospitals over the past 10 years. A phytobezoar is a stomach blockage which, unless it is removed or destroyed, can lead to a bowel obstruction. It is often caused by the consumption of certain fruits that don’t digest properly.
A range of treatments are used to treat it, from non-surgical lasers endoscopies and lasers to full surgery. But according to The Telegraph, such is the success rate of Coca-cola - 90 per cent - that doctors now routinely use the soft drink to treat patients with blocked stomach complaints as an alternative to surgery.
Even the Diet and Coke Zero options were successful, because they have the same basic ingredients as the full fat version, said the study. Coca-cola, which has an acidity rating of 2.6 on the pH scale because it contains both carbonic and phosphoric acid, works because its chemistry is similar to gastric acid which digests fibers, while the bubbles accelerate the process, say researchers.
Out of the 46 patients given Coca-Cola, 50 experienced a complete curing of their stomach blockage, 19 needed non-invasive treatments, and 4 needed full surgery. Those results translate as a 91.3 per cent success rating.
Researchers said that: “Coca-Cola administration is a cheap, easy-to-perform and safe procedure that can be accomplished at any endoscopy unit. It resembles gastric acid, which is thought to be important for fiber digestion. In addition the bubbles enhance the dissolving mechanism.”
The study concludes that if Coke does not completely remove the stomach blockage, it is still likely to make it smaller and soften the phytobezoar which makes it easier to remove without the need for full surgery.