THE IMPORTANCE OF MICRO-ORGANISMS, SPECIFICALLY PROBIOTICS WITH HELICOBACTER PYLORI INFECTIONS

Why do we need Probiotics in our daily diet?

Probiotics help maintain the balance between good and bad gut bacteria. Your gut contains hundreds (according to some 1000s) of different types of microorganisms. Most of the gut flora is found in your colon, or large intestine, which is the last part of your digestive tract. This includes bacteria, yeasts and viruses — with bacteria making up the vast majority.

Approximately half of all humans on earth harbor H. pylori which is the most common cause of chronic gastritis worldwide, it leads to gastric mucosal inflammation, peptic ulcers, gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma and gastric cancer.

World Health Organization define probiotics as living microorganisms which are also called ‘flora or microbiota’.  It is super beneficial to our lives, it can tolerate the effects of stomach acid, bile and pancreatic juice, it can colonize your gastrointestinal tract or reproductive system, it encourages host reactions and balance the intestinal flora to improve your health. 

Ample meta-analyses and clinical trials have confirmed that probiotic supplementation can increase the eradication rate of Helicobacter Pylori and reduce adverse reactions during eradication.

Helicobacter Pylori affects the distribution and quantity of the original gastric bacteria and upsets the microecological balance, resulting in disease.  The bacteria in your body outnumber your body’s cells 10 to one and most of these bacteria reside in your gut, majority are quite harmless.  

Having the right gut bacteria is even linked to numerous health benefits including:

  • Improved digestion – A number of studies have shown that supplementing with certain probiotic strains can reduce constipation in both adults and children. In a study comparing probiotics and prebiotics in children with IBS, B. lactis was shown to provide significant constipation relief. Although some people with IBS struggle with constipation, others experience frequent episodes of diarrhea, which is known as diarrhea-predominant IBS.
  • Enhanced immune function Probiotics turns fibres into short-chain fats like butyrate, propionate and acetate, which feed your gut wall and perform many metabolic functions. They are produced when the friendly gut bacteria ferment fibre in your colon, and are the main source of energy for the cells lining your colon. These fats also stimulate your immune system and strengthen your gut wall. This can help prevent unwanted substances from entering your body and provoking an immune response.
  • Healthier skin and evidence that probiotics can be useful for acne, rosacea and eczema.
  • Probiotics reduce systemic inflammation, which causes many diseasesAfter taking probiotic supplements, their inflammatory markers decreased, anti-inflammatory markers increased and gut bacteria balances became more like the type seen in young, healthy people.
  • Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety Probiotics appear to be effective for both generalized anxiety and anxiety related to specific causes. Taking probiotic supplements also appears to help people struggling with depression, including those with major depressive disorder.
  • Lowers blood cholesterol and reduces blood pressureTaking certain probiotic supplements may help lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol and decrease blood pressure.
  • Brain function – There is a strong connection between gut and brain health. The bacteria in your colon digest and ferment fibre into short-chain fatty acids that nourish the gut. Research has shown that these compounds may also benefit the brain and nervous system.

The gut microflora of humans is affected by various factors, such as the environment, diet, genetics, lifestyle and it is difficult to directly study the effects of probiotics on the human body.   For probiotic bacteria to grow, they also need prebiotics. High-quality probiotic supplements have both prebiotics and other ingredients designed to support digestion and immunity. Examples of these ingredients are (preferably fermented) flaxseed, chia seed, cañihua seed, astragalus, ashwagandha, hemp seed, pumpkin seed, milk thistle, peas, ginger, mung bean and turmeric.

The fifth Chinese H.pylori consensus opinion pointed out that the conclusion that some probiotic strains can alleviate gastrointestinal side effects following H.pylori eradication is widely accepted. Probiotics alone cannot completely eliminate H.pylori but can reduce the amount of them in the stomach and alleviate gastric mucosal inflammation.

With so many kinds of Probiotics available, what kind should you take with Helicobacter Pylori?

“Live and active cultures” are a better bet than “made with active cultures.” After fermentation, the product may be heat-treated, which kills off both good and bad bacteria (extending shelf life).

Why do you need different kinds of Probiotics?

  • They help stimulate production of an important immune system antibody called siga
  • Find each other and help each other to grow
  • Create an optimal PH range for certain good bacteria
  • Fight more strongly against bad bacteria. 3 Strains of lactobacillus are stronger against E.coli and salmonella than each individual strain.
  • Enhance each other’s adherence to the gut wall, meaning bad bacteria cannot attach themselves as easily and good bacteria can settle in the gut.

Research has shown that  Bifidobacterium exerts its effect against H.Pylori by  competing with the bacteria to stick to the mucous lining of the stomach. Your gut flora performs many functions that are important for health. It manufactures vitamins, including vitamin K and some of the B vitamins. Many of these bacteria are considered beneficial or “friendly.” Their functions include converting fibre into short-chain fatty acids, synthesizing certain vitamins and supporting your immune system.

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium based probiotics, also have anti-inflammatory effects that help gastritis and antioxidant effects to reduce damage to the stomach lining. They may also reduce your risk of developing yeast overgrowth. Researchers found evidence to suggest that the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus delivers the best results. Many people prefer Bifidobacterium, which is found in dairy and fermented products, to prevent gastrointestinal infection.

How Should You Take Probiotics?

Probiotics can be consumed in supplement form or in fermented foods. In our next article we will elaborate more on the different kinds of probiotic foods you can take with H.pylori, in brief here is a list you can purchase from your local health shop or order online:

  • Organic Yoghurt
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir – Water, coconut and milk Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Brine-cured Olives
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Traditional Buttermilk
  • Kvass
  • Natto
  • Tempeh

There are four things you want to consider when buying a probiotic supplement:

When reading a probiotic label, it should reveal the genus, species and strain of the probiotic. Also, the majority of probiotics can die under heat, so knowing the company had proper storing and cooling of the facility is also important.

  • Brand quality — Established dietary supplement brands with readily available customer reviews.
  • High CFU count Probiotic dosage is measured in “colony forming units,” or CFUs. Ideally, you should aim for at least 5–10 billion CFUs per day for children and 10–20 billion CFUs each day for adults. However, the recommended dosage may vary based on individual health concerns, so discuss with your doctor for personalized guidance as needed.
  • Survivability and strain diversity — Look for strains like Bacillus coagulans, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bacillus clausii and other cultures or formulas that ensure probiotics make it to the gut and are able to colonize.
  • Stability and organism types — Some probiotic strains need to be kept cold in order to preserve their potency. This applies to their production, transport, storage and sales. Others are shelf-stable and don’t require refrigeration. Unfortunately, most refrigerated probiotics never make it past the stomach because they aren’t stable. Instead, look for a shelf-stable product that contains soil-based organisms.

So when is the best time to take a probiotic? 

Most sources typically recommend taking your probiotic first thing in the morning, about an hour after Matula Tea or half an hour after breakfast – on an empty stomach. This ensures that your probiotic supplement is able to reach your digestive tract quickly without getting stuck in the stomach behind your morning meal.

Are there any side effects?

Probiotics are generally well tolerated and considered safe for most people. However, in the first few days, you may experience side effects related to digestion, such as gas and mild abdominal discomfort. After you adjust, your digestion should begin improving. In people with compromised immune systems, including those with HIV, AIDS and several other conditions, probiotics can lead to dangerous infections.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9406136

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25400981

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27413138

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2018/9379480/

https://academic.oup.com/femspd/article/63/2/153/542208

https://turkjgastroenterol.org/sayilar/296/buyuk/3-111.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925854/

https://www.cdc.gov/ulcer/files/hpfacts.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22555633

https://www.health.harvard.edu/nutrition/the-benefits-of-probiotics-using-good-bacteria-for-better-health

https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/digestion/what-to-know-about-probiotics/

https://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/en/the-effects-of-probiotics-and-prebiotics-on-our-gut-microbiota/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24294220

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