Alarming discovery: Common stomach bug tied to Alzheimer’s disease in new study

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alzheimers-disease-linked-to-stomach-bug(NaturalHealth365) Alzheimer’s disease, a brain disorder that progressively impairs memory and cognition, affects 40 million people around the globe.  Researchers have been sounding the alarm about the soaring incidence of the disease, which is expected to increase more than threefold by 2054.  There is currently no conventional cure for this debilitating condition, and pharmaceutical drugs claimed to alleviate symptoms have proved to be heartbreakingly inadequate.

Now, a new Canadian review shows that infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a common strain of bacteria, may raise the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease years down the road.  Is there anything you can do to address H. pylori infection – and can these steps help to safeguard you against developing dementia?  Let’s find out.

Microbial shocker: H. pylori is present in one-third of the world’s population

H. pylori is surprisingly widespread.  In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 33 percent of the world’s population have these bacteria in their bodies – whether they know it or not.  While H. pylori usually causes no problems, researchers say it can sometimes lead to gastric ulcers (open sores in the lining of the stomach, which cause a dull or burning pain in the upper abdomen).  Some researchers believe H. pylori to be associated with 85 to 95 percent of all stomach ulcers.

And ulcers aren’t the only possible consequence of H. pylori.

Gastritis, or stomach inflammation, and stomach cancer, can also occur.  While Western medicine typically treats H. pylori infection with antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors – a widely prescribed class of heartburn medications – to reduce stomach acid, these medications can feature toxic side effects.  In addition, research suggests that some H. pylori infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics.

More bad news: Recent research has shown that H. pylori can even affect the nervous system

H. pylori can travel to the brain, heightening the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

A systematic review conducted by Charite and McGill University researchers and published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association reveals that the H. pylori bacteria implicated in gastric ulcers can substantially raise the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  After age 50, the authors reported, Alzheimer’s risk goes up roughly 11 percent following a symptomatic infection with H. pylori.

Ten years after contracting the infection, the increased risk climbs to 24 percent.  According to lead author Professor Antonios Douros, a pharmacoepidemiologist at Charite University, H. pylori can travel to the brain, where it causes neuroinflammation and death of brain cells.  Prof. Douros characterizes H. pylori infection as a “modifiable risk” for Alzheimer’s disease.

Review article involved 30 years of medical data and millions of patients

The extensive 30-year analysis involved over 4 million dementia-free participants at the beginning of the research.  Over 40,000 of them eventually developed Alzheimer’s disease.  Incidentally, the researchers pointed out yet another consequence of H. pylori – the fact that it can damage the stomach and interfere with the absorption of vitamin B and iron.  This is significant because poor absorption of these essential micronutrients places another “bullet in the chamber” when it comes to raising the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

While the research is troubling, scientists note that having a symptomatic H. pylori infection does not automatically mean that one will develop Alzheimer’s disease.  Prof. Douros pointed out that more studies are needed to determine whether eradicating the pathogen would affect the development of Alzheimer’s disease – and to what degree.

In the meantime, it only makes sense to take precautions against H. pylori whenever possible.

Reduce the threat of H. pylori and Alzheimer’s disease with natural strategies

Some common-sense steps you can take to ward off H. pylori – and avoid the raised risk of Alzheimer’s disease – including thoroughly washing hands before eating and after using the restroom, observing safe food preparation and storage, and drinking only clean, pure water.

A variety of natural nutrients may help as well.

In an article published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, researchers advised that Bifidobacterium, a strain of probiotic bacteria, can act against gastrointestinal microbes, including H. pylori.  The authors, who noted that regular consumption of probiotics could help alleviate the risk of irritable bowel disease (IBD) and diarrhea, called probiotics a “potentially promising tool” to prevent H. pylori.  (In other words, you may be able to use “good bugs” to fight “bad bugs,” lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease down the road.)

One compelling study published in the Archives of Medical Research showed that Manuka honey suppressed the growth of H. pylori and pro-inflammatory molecules in the body.  Honey, which is strongly antibacterial, has been used for centuries to speed wound healing and fight infections.

Aloe vera gel, which has long been used for digestive health, was found in a lab study to inhibit a strain of drug-resistant H. pylori.

And sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables, has been credited with decreasing stomach inflammation and acting against H. pylori.

Finally, both human and animal studies have shown that aromatherapy with lemongrass essential oil reduces H. pylori populations in the stomach.  (Warning: Do not take lemongrass oil orally.)  Consult your holistic physician before attempting to treat H. pylori with aromatherapy, probiotics, or nutrients.

The latest review serves as a reminder that a puzzling variety of factors, including bacterial infection, can trigger Alzheimer’s disease.  When it comes to protecting your irreplaceable mind and precious memories against this cruel disease, be advised: forewarned is forearmed.

Editor’s note: Discover the best natural protocols to eliminate the threat of Alzheimer’s disease, own the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Summit created by NaturalHealth365 Programs.

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