Is H Pylori Good or Bad? And Improving the Triple Drug Therapy - Aspire Natural Health

Is H Pylori Good or Bad? And Improving the Triple Drug Therapy

I had a patient today with some significant GI issues who tested positive for H pylori (a bacteria that lives in the stomach).

While H pylori has been painted as a villain in most people’s minds, as the cause of stomach ulcers the truth is, we still have a LOT to learn about H pylori.

And what we’re learning, is that H pylori is not all bad. As a quick search of the scientific literature suggests:

  1. Protective effects of Helicobacter pylori against gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD]
  2. Infection with Helicobacter pylori Is Associated with Protection against Tuberculosis
  3. Disappearing Microbiota: Helicobacter pylori Protection against Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

But we also know that H pylori can be bad, and cause cause stomach ulcers and contribute to stomach cancer.

The difference?

Virulence genes. Genes that transform a relatively docile, seemingly helpful bacteria, into a bad one.  UPDATE:  And it still remains complicated because research shows that H Pylori with these virulence genes also seems to provide some benefits!

Since over 50% of people in the world have H pylori, it’s not worth testing for unless you have GI symptoms.

But, what if you do have H pylori and are pretty sure it’s causing problems?

The standard treatment and the one that’s been best studied uses a triple cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs. An acid blocker, and two antibiotics and is done for 1-2 weeks.

Do natural therapies work, yes. But since the patient that sparked this blog post chose to go the pharmaceutical route that is the focus of this article.

Can we make the triple therapy better? I believe we can by adding two things.

  1. Probiotics – this study showed improvement in eradication when adding probiotics to the triple drug regimen, but this study showed that JUST taking probiotics by themselves was only effect about 16% of the time, so probiotics need to be part of a protocol.  Also any time you take antibiotics you MUST take probiotics.  Antibiotics have a devastating effect on your gut flora, killing not only the “bad” guys but also the “good” guys. These good bacteria are critical to good health.  Probiotics help replace the good gut flora killed by antibiotics. They should be taken on the same days that you are taking antibiotics, but preferably not at the exact same time. So with the typical twice a day dosing of antibiotics for the triple therapy, often breakfast and dinner, probiotics should be taken at lunch and before bed.
  2. Lactoferrin – Lactoferrin is an immune chemical isolated from dairy that is also produced by the human body. This trial showed an increase in effectiveness of the triple therapy from 77% without lactoferrin to 100% with lactoferrin. The trial was small but the results were striking.  Another trial showed no additional benefit.  Given lactoferrin’s other benefits and inexpensiveness, I would still strongly consider the quadruple therapy.

In my opinion, these two simple changes to the triple therapy are worthwhile. For a modest increase in price, they help minimize and side effects and boost effectiveness.

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Photo attribution – https://bit.ly/2LFfnua

Another Interesting post:

What DrG is researching – Blastocystis