Natural treatments are possible for Helicobacter pylori, a common bacteria associated with numerous gastric ailments, some experts say.
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H. pylori can be found in the stomachs of about two-thirds of the world’s population and is associated with gastritis, ulcers, and gastric cancer, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Traditional treatments for the infection are costly and complex, including antibiotics, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. But the success of such treatment is limited, with antibiotic resistance and patient non-adherence contributing to failure in more than 20 percent of cases, according to a recent study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology
Some experts have looked to alternative therapies, including herbs, probiotics, food extracts, and antioxidants for their potential benefits in the treatment of H. pylori.
“I have not seen any good human trials yet, but in the laboratory several herbs have shown anti-helicobacter pylori activity,” Dr. Ray Sahlian wrote
. “These supplements are green tea extract, bacopa, cranberry, probiotics, and bilberry.”
Certified by the American Board of Family Practice, Sahlian is a physician and medical writer who regularly discusses the benefits and risks of natural supplements, according to his biography on WebMD
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Drinking kefir in conjunction with standard triple antibiotic therapy, increases the effectiveness of the treatment and decreases side effects, Jacob Schor, a naturopathic doctor at Denver Naturopathic Clinic, wrote in a report in the Natural Medicine Journal
“One cup of kefir twice per day should be added to standard antibiotic protocol used in the treatment of H. pylori,” Schor wrote, basing the finding on a study of 82 patients taking a two-week course of antibiotics.
Dr. Alan R. Gamby, wrote in a 2001 article for Alternative Medicine Review
that while no clear alternative to conventional treatments has emerged, several natural treatments show promise, including mastic gum, vitamin C, and berberine.
“At present, the most promising natural treatment is a mixture of black currant seed oil and fish oil, although controlled trials are needed to confirm a preliminary report that this mixture can eradicate H. pylori in 20 percent of cases,” Gamby wrote.
Hundreds of studies recorded in the U.S. National Library of Medicine
provide evidence to support natural treatments for H. pylori. For example, one study concludes that regular consumption of cranberry juice can suppress H. pylori infection.
This article does not constitute medical advice. Consult your physician for advice about appropriate medical diagnosis and treatment.
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