Archive for March 4th, 2011

Helicobacter Pylori (commonly called H. Pylori) is a bacterium which infects the lining of the stomach and duodenum. It is one of the most common infections in the UK with more than a quarter of the people in the UK being infected with H. Pylori at some stage in their life. Once infected, unless treated, the infection usually stays for the rest of your life, unless eradicated.

Most people who are infected with H. Pylori have no symptoms and do not know that they are infected as the bacteria may just live harmlessly in the lining of the stomach and duodenum.

H. Pylori is the most common cause of duodenal and stomach ulcers. About 3 in 20 people who are infected with H. Pylori develop an ulcer. An ulcer is where the lining of the stomach or duodenum is damaged by the acid which is made in the stomach, and the underlying tissue is exposed.

The exact way H. Pylori causes ulcers is not unclear. The stomach normally produces acid to help with the digestion of food and to kill bacteria. This acid is corrosive so some cells on the inside lining of the stomach and duodenum produce a natural mucus barrier which protects the lining of the stomach and duodenum. There is normally a balance between the amount of acid made and the mucus defense barrier.  An ulcer may develop if there is an alteration in this balance allowing the acid to damage the lining of the stomach or duodenum. In some people H. Pylori causes inflammation in the lining of the stomach or duodenum. This causes the defence mucus barrier to be disrupted in some way (and in some cases the amount of acid to be increased) which seems to allow the acid to cause inflammation and ulcers.

Non-ulcer dyspesia

This is a condition where there is recurrent bouts of indigestion (dyspepsia) which are not caused by an ulcer or inflammation. It is sometimes called functional dyspepsia. H. Pylori is sometimes found in people with non-ulcer dyspepsia.

The symptoms include a pain in the stomach which goes through to the back along with a feeling of nausea – the pain is better on eating but worse when the stomach is empty; waking up with the pain during the night; feelings of bloatedness after eating even a small meal.

Eradicating H. Pylori

The following have been found to be beneficial in killing the bacteria:

  • Cumin (Cuminum Cyminum) is extremely good for digestion and related problems. The very smell of it, which comes from an aromatic organic compound called Cuminaldehyde, the main component of its essential oil, activates our salivary glands in the mouth, facilitating the primary digestion of the food. Next is Thymol, a compound present in cumin, which does the same to the glands which secrete acids, bile and enzymes responsible for complete digestion of the food in the stomach and the intestines, due to its Stimulating properties. Cumin is also Carminative i.e. relieves wind and thereby improves digestion and appetite. Due to its essential oils, magnesium and sodium content, it promotes digestion and also settles the stomach during stomach-ache when taken with hot water.
  • Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza) has been shown in clinical studies to inhibit the colonization of H. Pylori by increasing mucosal secretions in the stomach lining making it difficult for the bacteria to gain a foothold. Licorice also contains triterpenes that promote anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Mastic Gum, a resin produced by the Pistacia Ientiscus tree (an evergreen shrub form the pistachio tree family) has been used for a variety of gastric ailments in the Mediterranean and Middle East for at least 3,000 years where mastic gum was highly revered for its medicinal properties in the relief of dyspepsia and other intestinal disorders. The benefits of this naturally-occurring resin is now being rediscovered for its anti-microbial effects. Several studies have already been published on mastic gum with regard to its positive effects at least seven different strains of H.Pylori.

In my experience an effective treatment for H. Pylori is a combination of all three of the above, in addition to L-Gluatmine (powder) which keeps the instestinal wall healthy and helps restore the gut wall.

A daily intake of Acidophilus is also advised to help protect the body against harmful bacteria and parastites. As Acidophilus breaks down it releases an array of  helpful chemicals which create a toxic environment for unhealthy bacteria and which aid the digestion process.

Caprylic Acid is excellent for killing parasites like Candida Albicans.

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