Digestive system infection can be eliminated with 6 all-natural remedies
(NaturalHealth365) According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 25 million Americans will suffer from an ulcer at some point in their lives. Conventional medicine used to hold stress and spicy foods responsible for these painful erosions in the stomach lining, but experts now say that the vast majority of ulcers are actually caused by infection with a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori. (better known as H. pylori)
Although many H. pylori infections can be successfully treated with a two-week course of antibiotics, the growing problem of antibiotic resistance means that the treatment fails about 20 percent of the time. Fortunately, much safer solutions do exist – that don’t threaten other aspects of your health.
Be WARNED: Helicobacter pylori can trigger stomach cancer
H. pylori, the most common pathogenic bacteria in the stomach, exists in about half the population of the world – with the bacteria usually acquired in childhood. In most cases, H. pylori infection causes no symptoms, and many people have it without being aware of it.
In others, however, H. pylori can attack the stomach lining and create ulcers – characterized by symptoms of burning stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite and frequent belching.
The bacterium can also lead to chronic gastritis – and even stomach cancer. In fact, researchers report that at least 6 million new peptic ulcers worldwide are linked to H. pylori every year. For this reason, H. pylori is considered a major threat to public health, and is officially classified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization.
Infection with H. pylori can also cause malabsorption of vitamins and minerals – particularly vitamin B-12. Signs of vitamin B-12 deficiency include irritability, memory loss, dementia, arrhythmias and hypothyroidism.
“Triple therapy,” the current medical treatment for H. pylori, involves the use of two different antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor. However, antibiotics can disrupt beneficial gut flora and cause unwanted immune-related health issues.
This fact – along with the steadily worsening problem of antibiotic resistance – is causing researchers to intensify the search for natural H. pylori remedies.
Black nigella seeds target drug-resistant H. pylori
Black nigella seeds, also called “black seed,” “black cumin,” “black sesame” and “Roman coriander,” are strongly antibacterial – and can even help stop drug-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
A study published in 2010 in Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology showed that 2 grams of powdered black nigella seeds a day, along with omeprazole, treated H. pylori as effectively as a classic “triple therapy” cocktail of clarithromycin, amoxicillin and omeprazole.
The researchers noted that two patients – who were still positive for H. pylori after two consecutive triple therapy courses – became negative for H. pylori after receiving nigella seed and omeprazole daily for two weeks. Researchers concluded that black nigella seeds could help improve the effectiveness of antibiotics, and decrease the possibility of emergence of resistant H. pylori colonies.
If you are pregnant, or will be undergoing surgery within two weeks, don’t take black nigella seeds.
It’s official: Vitamin C and E outshine pharmaceutical drugs alone
In a study of 160 ulcer patients published in Helicobacter, this pair of antioxidant, disease-fighting nutrients proved their worth as an integrative therapy for H. pylori.
Participants were divided into two groups, with Group A receiving lansoprazole, amoxicillin, clarithromycin and bismuth subcitrate for 14 days. Group B received the identical medications and dosages – with the addition of 1,000 mg of vitamin C and 400 IUs of vitamin E a day.
And the results were revealing.
In group B, the H. pylori eradication rate was 91.25 percent – which is well over the 80 percent eradication rate considered ideal. (With a clearance rate of only 60 percent, the non-vitamin group didn’t fare nearly as well!)
The results speak for themselves: adding vitamin C and E to antimicrobial therapy is effective in eradicating H. pylori infection.
Quercetin quells H. pylori infection
Quercetin, a flavonoid and natural pigment found in fruit, is currently used to treat ailments from asthma to atherosclerosis. It is also a powerful agent against H. pylori bacteria.
In one animal study, 200 mg/kg of quercetin daily for 15 days significantly reduced the colonization of H. pylori and reduced inflammatory response. In a second study, published in Journal of Applied Microbiology, researchers found that quercetin-rich muscadine grape skins ameliorated H. pylori infection and inflammation.
The researchers concluded that H. pylori infection may be “reduced or prevented” via consumption of fruits rich in quercetin. Good sources include organic grapes, apples, onions and green tea.
Probiotics help antibiotics pack a punch
In a review of 33 different trials involving 4,459 participants with H. pylori, researchers reported that taking probiotics with triple therapy caused a higher success rate in treating H. pylori overgrowth – as well as fewer adverse effects.
Probiotics – foods or supplements containing live cultures of beneficial bacteria – are particularly useful for participants for whom antibiotic therapy has failed.
Note: Three lactobacillus strains – L. acidophilus, L. casei and L. gasseri — and one bifidobacterium strain – B. infantis — were found to be particularly effective, with a high eradication rate againt H. pylori. Natural health experts recommend taking probiotics four to six hours after taking antibiotics.
Go for garlic against H. pylori
Garlic, which is strongly antimicrobial, can be another valuable ally against H. pylori infection. In a recent study, H. pylori patients were given two medium-sized cloves of fresh raw garlic – about 3 grams – twice daily with meals.
After finding significantly lower levels of H. pylori in the garlic group – but no lowering in the control group – researchers advised that garlic be prescribed along with routine drugs for the treatment of H. pylori.
Blast H. pylori with broccoli sprouts
Broccoli sprouts are rich in sulforaphane, an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer compound.
A Japanese study showed that eating 70 grams – about two and a half ounces – of broccoli sprouts daily for 2 months reduced levels of HpSA, a marker of H. pylori infestation, by over 40 percent.
However, the participants’ HpSA levels returned to pretreatment levels eight weeks after they stopped eating the sprouts. For maximum benefit, researchers advise eating broccoli sprouts consistently – and add that regular consumption could grant some protection against H. pylori, while potentially helping to prevent stomach cancer.
Researchers called the results “exciting,” and expressed their satisfaction that “a chronic bacterial infection that poses great hazards to hundreds of millions of people globally can be ameliorated by a specific dietary strategy.”
The same could be said of all six of these H. pylori-busting natural remedies – shown in studies to help prevent and treat this troublesome bacterial infection. As always, when dealing with serious infections – ask your integrative healthcare provider about the best course of action before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Sources for this article include:
Food & Nutrition
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