Soda may not be all that good for your health when consumed straight out of the can, but everydayhealth.com says researchers are finding that the iconic soft drink, Coca-Cola, might be useful in another unusual way.
Not only can Coca-Cola remove grease stains from clothes and fabric and clean your car engine, but now researchers say the soft drink can get rid of stomach blockages.
Researchers reviewed 10 years' worth of detailed cases on 46 patients with a condition called gastric phytobezoar - a stomach blockage - who were treated with so-called Coca-Cola dissolution therapy.
Phytobezoars, the most common type of stomach blockage, are composed of indigestible food fibers from fruits and vegetables including celery, pumpkin, prunes, raisins, leeks, beets, persimmons, and sunflower seed shells. Unless they are successfully removed or unblocked, they can lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, gastric obstruction, perforation, abdominal pain, and bleeding.
These blockages occur most often in people with risk factors that include decreased stomach size or reduced stomach acid production, having had gastric surgery that resulted in delayed stomach emptying, or having diabetes or late-stage kidney disease.
Researchers at the medical school of Athens University found that of the 46 patients who were given Coca-Cola to treat the blockage, the treatment cleared the blockage in half, 19 patients needed additional non-invasive treatment, and four needed full surgery.
Coca-Cola was administered in a few different ways:
Some patients drank the beverage in daily amounts from 500 milliliters to 3,000 milliliters for up to six weeks.
Some had gastric lavage, or therapeutic irrigation of the digestive tract, which was done using 3,000 milliliters of Coca-Cola over a 24-hour time period.
Eight patients had combinations of Coca-Cola treatment - drinking, injection, and irrigation.
The researchers found Coca-Cola was successful as a treatment for phytobezoar resolution in 91.3 percent of the cases, according to a study published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.