Intestinal metaplasia of the stomach is a lesion that is often a precursor of gastric cancer, according to the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology. The condition appears most often in patients who smoke, have immediate relatives with gastric cancer, are infected with Helicobacter pylori or are advancing in age.
Research shows that Helicobacter pylori is frequently the cause of intestinal metaplasia and that there are links between a lack of vitamin C and development of the lesions, according to the journal Gut. Some studies have produced evidence that by combining antioxidants and destroying Helicobacter pylori, intestinal metaplasia may be reversed. Upper endoscopy examinations reveal intestinal metaplasia lesions exist in approximately 25 percent of patients, according to the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology.