Don't mix raw oysters and antacids!

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By Robb Walsh

Published on February 10, 2009 at 12:09pm

"It is unseasonable and unwholesome in all months that have not an R in their name to eat an oyster." William Butler, 1599

In cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory, Douglas Marshall and researchers at Mississippi State University built a model of the human stomach and introduced oysters containing Vibrio vulnificus to try to understand what happens to the bacteria in the human gut.

They found that while stomach acids were usually enough to kill much of the bacteria, some common medications changed the equation radically. When the researchers added antacids, the bacteria in the model stomach quickly grew to a level 10 times higher than without antacids. Antacid users are now considered another "at-risk" group who should avoid raw oysters at all times.


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