Helicobacter Pylori: Good and bad


Dietary recommendations for Helicobacter pylori infection

A diet based on optimum nutrition shows that genetic susceptibility to H. pylori can be modified and there is mounting scientific evidence to show that such a diet not only helps prevent acquisition of the bacteria but also protects from disease consequences in those who are infected. In one study, research on vitamin C in both mice and humans has shown that in amounts of 5g a day, it can rid the body of H. pylori in up to 30% of individuals. Epidemiological studies have also shown, more or less across the board, that diets high in fruit and vegetables and therefore rich in vitamin C, as well as other antioxidant nutrients, are associated with lower rates of infection and less disease outcome when infection is present.

Fiber is essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system and there is an inverse association between fiber levels, particularly soluble sources from fruits, vegetables, oats, legumes and seeds, and duodenal ulceration.

Foods to be avoided

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Dairy products
  • Red and processed meat
  • Pickled products
  • Refined grains
  • Salt
  • Alcohol

Beneficial foods 

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fruit high in fiber content like raspberries, pears and prunes
  • 100% Whole grains like rye bread and brown basmati rice
  • Lean and low fat protein
  • Good quality water

Lifestyle advice 

  • No smoking
  • Dental checks every 6 months
  • Exercise and meditation to reduce stress

The introduction of steel rolling mills to produce white flour in the latter part of the nineteenth century coincided with a rise in cases of duodenal ulcer.

The benefits of the probiotic family of lactobacilli have also been proven through research. Studies show possible benefits from fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), the food for these beneficial gut bacteria as well. Various strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus salivarius inhibit the growth of helicobacter in mice, probably through the production of lactic acid, although they also interfere with H. pylori’s ability to stick to cells. The same study showed that as well as eliminating existing colonies of H. pylori, the presence of lactobacilli prevented colonization by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Consumption of tea, both black and green, and red wine is associated with lower incidence of the infection, while coffee and alcohol have negative associations.

Six to eight glasses of water a day ensure proper hydration and optimal conditions for the mucous layer in the stomach. Vitamin A has also been shown to increase mucous production in the stomach.

If you suffer from reflux that does not dissipate, you need to consult with your Integrative Healthcare Professional.

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