Food and Herbs to Destroy H. Pylori, the Bacterium Responsible for Acid Reflux and Stomach Cancer

Sunday, June 7th, 2020
If you follow my blog, you know I’m currently enjoying broccoli sprouts and use them in salads and smoothies. Broccoli sprouts turn on the NRF-2 gene pathway, which can turn off the genes leading to cancer. In addition, they show a promising benefit by eradicating Helicobacter Pylori, or H. Pylori.

H. pylori is a helical or corkscrew-shaped bacterium that affects 50% of the American population and up to two-thirds of the rest of the world. This little bug is classified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization as well as the International Agency for Research.

It is strongly linked to developing stomach problems such as stomach cancer and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance has negatively impacted the proton pump inhibitors and antibiotic combo used in allopathic medicine. They are no longer as effective as they once were. Since each individual is different, the efficacy of a particular therapy may vary with each patient, environment, genes, age, food, and hygiene.

Standard treatment

The standard treatment for H pylori eradication is a proton pump inhibitor, like Prilosec or Nexium. Unfortunately, these medications have risks associated with them. A new study shows a 25% increased risk of death. These acid-blocking agents are paired with several antibiotics for two to three weeks.

We should be eating broccoli sprouts

This is a highly effective, natural alternative to eliminating H. Pylori. The release of a stress chemical that forms sulforaphane, the potent anti-tumor agent, and natural antioxidant that fights H pylori. Studies show that this biochemical appears to trigger cells in the body, including the gastrointestinal tract, to produce enzymes that protect against free radical damage and inflammation.

A 2009 study published in Cancer Prevention Research found that eating 2.5 ounces of broccoli sprouts every day for two months may protect against H pylori. The researchers noted that the levels of a very specific byproduct called HpSA released by H pylori decreased by 40% in the stool of these patients. It later reappeared after they stopped the broccoli sprouts. This indicates that broccoli sprouts prevent full colonization but by themselves, don’t eradicate the bacterium. Personally,  I would choose broccoli sprouts over a proton pump inhibitor. Nexium also does not often eradicate H pylori and comes with a host of other side effects.

In earlier animal studies performed at Johns Hopkins University, mice infected with H pylori ate broccoli sprout smoothies for eight weeks daily. The H pylori in their stomachs decreased by 100 fold while there was a concomitant four-fold increase in enzymes like sulforaphane that protect against oxidative damage!

In another study published in 2004, the consumption of broccoli sprouts was temporarily associated with the eradication of H pylori infection in only three out of nine patients.

So, broccoli sprouts may be excellent for prevention rather than full eradication of the bug. What else can you do?

Natural alternatives you likely won’t hear from your physician

My best advice is to pair some of these options with daily broccoli sprouts.

Pau D’Arco

This South American leaf also revs up the NRF-2 pathway just like broccoli sprouts! The results of a 2014 study published in the Journal of Toxicological Sciences found that the activation of NRF-2 could mediate the beneficial effects of Pau D’Arco in the intestine and with inflammation. It is an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. It is known to fight candida and cancer.

Cranberries

This fruit is native to North America and has been shown to keep H pylori at bay. They work by preventing bacteria from adhering to cell walls in the stomach and bladder, which is why they are popular for treating urinary tract infections. In addition, they are beneficial in preventing H pylori from adhering to the stomach mucosa. In one study, a 90 day trial of cranberry juice compared to placebo in 189 patients, exhibited an increased eradication rate of H pylori.

Garlic

Garlic and its active ingredient, Allicin, produce organosulphur compounds that deter oxidative damage by scavenging free radicals. Allicin is also known for its potent antibacterial activity.

Curcumin

Although In-vivo tests in humans are lacking, one study did show long-term benefits for curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, in healing peptic ulcers and possibly, H pylori. Ulcers measuring up to 1.5cm were found in the duodenum of the stomach were treated with 300mg, five times a day of turmeric. 4 weeks of treatment revealed no ulcers in 48%. After 12 weeks, 76% had no ulcers!

Ginger

Ginger has been used for centuries for ailments like nausea and dyspepsia due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer properties. Ginger has been shown in one study to restrict the growth of H pylori by inhibiting hydrogen and potassium released for gastric acid secretion. Gingerols and extracts, present in ginger, inhibit the development of H pylori in vitro in 19 clinical strains.

Pistachia or mastic gum

This gum is produced by the Pistachio lentiscus plant in the Greek isles. It has been studied since the 1980s for its positive effects on the ulcers and stomach ailments. Mastic gum seems to work by inducing protrusions, or poking holes, in the cells of H pylori! A 2011 study proved that mastic gum prevents H pylori inflammation by inhibiting our white blood cells’ reaction in vivo. However, other animals and human studies have not replicated these findings.

Artemisinin

This antimalarial drug has shown remarkably strong activity against H pylori infections. It was proven to have activity in vivo in a study published in 2012.

Zinc, probiotics & digestive enzymes

H pylori love a lowered immune system. Resetting the bacterial balance and digestive properties in our guts aid your immune system and help fight this bacteria. Probiotics help to tip the bacterial balance in a favorable manner so that the improper bacteria can be recognized and disposed of. Digestive enzymes should be used only when needed, and they help the body breakdown nutrients especially if the pH or digestion is off. Zinc works because it is necessary to help produce hydrochloric acid, which triggers our own natural digestive enzymes. Zinc also works to protect the stomach lining. It helps in wound healing and is anti-inflammatory.

You are becoming your own best doctor!

Much love, Dr. Jess

REFERENCES:

  1. Zhang L, Ma J. Pan K, Go VL, Chen J., You WC Efficacy of cranberry juice on Helicobacter pylori infection: a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial. 2005; 10:139-145
  2. Shmuel, H. Domniz, N. Yahav J Non-Pharmacological treatment of Helicobacter pylori: World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  3. Prucksunand C, Indrasukhsri B, Leethochawalit M, Hungspreugs K, Phase II clinical trial on the effect of the long term turmeric on the healing of the peptic ulcer. Southeast Asian J Tropical Medical Public Health 2001: 208-215
  4. Malady GB Pendland SL, Yun GS, Lu ZZ, Soia A, Ginger and the gingers inhibit the growth of Cag A+strains of Helicobacter pylori. Anticancer Research. 2003: 23: 3699-3702
  5. Goswami S, Bhakuni RS, Chinniah A, Pal A, Kar SK, Das PK Anti-Helicobacter pylori potential of artemisinin and its derivatives. Antimicrobial Agents in Chemotherapy 2012

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