The Food 411: Can sauerkraut help ward off a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection?

For those of you who have had an H. pylori infection, you remember the ulcers, gastric reflux, bloating, nausea or a deep gnawing pain in your stomach that sent you running to the doctor. But did you know that these bacteria may also cause frequent belching, reduced appetite, unexplained weight loss, joint or muscle pain, chronic fatigue, thyroid issues, and psychological symptoms? H. pylori can put you in a brain fog where you feel like you can’t figure anything out, make clear decisions or concentrate well. It may even contribute to depression. This is one tough bacteria and even tougher to get rid of once you contract it.

Probiotic to the rescue?

A recent study showed that a good multi-strained probiotic may actually eradicate a H. pylori infection.  I want to point out that this bug is SO difficult to kill that the standard medical protocol is to prescribe THREE to FOUR antibiotic agents at the same time.

In this study, 80 people with confirmed H. pylori were treated with either a mixture of 8 species of probiotics or a placebo for 10 days. The Urea breath test and H. pylori stool tests were performed after 1 month.  Out of the 40 non-placebo participants, 13 were clear of the infection.

These results are amazing to me. If a simple blend of probiotics is strong enough to eradicate a hard to kill bacterium like H. pylori in 10 days, imagine how powerful pre and probiotics are as a preventative agent against all other pathogenic bacteria !For extra measure, we like to utilize a formula that also contains beneficial yeast, S. boulardii, to help eliminate Candida at the same time.

Reference: “Probiotic multistrain treatment may eradicate Helicobacter pylori from the stomach of dyspeptics: a placebo-controlled pilot study,” Rosania R, Minenna MF, et al, Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets, 2012 Mar 28; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Gastroenterology Section, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Foggia, Viale Pinto, 1, 71100 Foggia, Italy. E-mail: enzo.ierardi@fastwenet.it ). 

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