Many of us know the harmful effects of the coca cola e.g. they can cause the teeth to rot etc and few benefits like it can remove grease stains from cloths and can also clean your car engine but they are also beneficial in case of stomach blockages like from phytobezoars. phytobezoars are undigested food particles like cellulose, lignin and other fibers, for which we do not have enzymes in our body. Fruits, celery, raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin ets are good source of it. These usually do not accumulate in people with normal gastric function. In people with gastric paresis and gastric surgeries the normal bowel function is not present. In that case these undigested food particles, fibers rather, get en-strangled and form a ball of fibers which block the stomach or intestine.
The management here is giving cellulase and some other enzymes which can digest these dietary fibers. If these do not work then endoscopy is done and we try to break these bezoars.
Now scientists have found that coca cola could be a very good alternative measure for treating trichobezoar. There have been research for ten years in around 46 patients in Athens University of Greece. Out of those 46 patients on coca cola therapy 19 needed extra medical treatment and four need surgical treatment. Rest were fine on the beverage.
Mechanism of action of coca cola could be due to the sodium bicarbonate present in the drink that has fiber loosening affect on the phytobezoar and also the acidity of coca cola digests the fibers.
So in conclusion coca cola decreased the need of endoscopic procedures and is also very readily available in the market and is very cost effective treatment of gastric blockage.