Bismuth (Bi)

Bi – Bismuth is found in igneous rocks at 0. 17 ppm; shale at 1.0 ppm; seawater at 0.0000 17 ppm; land plants at 0.06 ppm; marine animals at 0.09 to 0.3 ppm; land animals at 0.004 ppm.

Stress has historically been blamed as the boogy-man causing stomach and peptic ulcers of the stomach and duodenum. Human studies have in fact demonstrated that the true cause of peptic ulcers is a gastric infection with a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori.

Australian gastroenterologist Barry Marshall, M.D. and pathologist J. Robbin Warren proposed their theory for the bacterial cause of peptic ulcers in 1983 (the bacterial cause of gastric ulcers in pigs was known in 1952).

Marshall, now on the staff of Virginia Health Sciences Center in Charlottesville, said, “we were going against medical dogma.”

During a study of recurrent duodenal ulcers by eight Australian researchers, our group of patients received antibiotics, the others a placebo for 12 days. For six to ten weeks both groups received the standard Zantac, one of the commonly prescribed drugs used to block the production of stomach acid.

After six weeks the ulcers of 92 percent of the patients on antibiotics had healed, whereas only 75 percent of the placebo group had healed. One year later only four of the 50 people treated with antibiotics had a recurrence of their ulcers, whereas 42 of the 49 given the placebo had a return of their ulcers.

A study by Dr. David Graham, Chief of Digestive Diseases at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Houston confirmed that H. pylori is the cause of most gastric and duodenal peptic ulcers –“the proof is there,” according to Graham.

The treatment of choice for ulcers is ten days to four weeks on tetracycline antibiotics, anti-ulcer medication and bismuth subsalicylate – (the active ingredient in Pepto Bismol).

Bismuth is used as a coloring agent in decorative cosmetics, in ointments for burns, to delineate viscous surfaces in X-ray analyses, as a fungicide, in the treatment of warts, and to regulate stool odor and consistency in colostomy patients. Despite rather extensive use of bismuth as a therapeutic agent for gastrointestinal disturbances, no evidence exists to indicate that it is an essential nutrient. However, bismuth is a relatively nontoxic element and is found in low quantities in human tissues. Hamilton et al. found the following concentrations for human organs: kidney 0.4 +or- 0.1, lung 0.01 +or-0.001, and lymph nodes 0.02 +or- 0.001 mcg/g fresh tissue. Sumino et al. found 0.030 +or-. 0.020 and 0.038 +or- 0.031 mcg bismuth per gram of fresh liver and kidney, respectively. The normal dietary intake of bismuth is low, probably