KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN. The Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) bacterium causes chronic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) and is involved in the development of peptic ulcer and certain forms of stomach cancer. H.pylori can be eliminated through the use of antibiotics for a 1- or 2-week period. However, the use of effective antibiotics may have undesirable side effects and there is now even some concern that completely eradicating H.pylori may have long-term negative consequences. Taiwanese researchers now report that yogurt containing live Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis bacteria is effective in controlling H.pylori. Their study involved 70 patients with a diagnosed H.pylori infection who ingested either yogurt or a placebo twice daily after a meal for 6 weeks. The intensity of the infection was measured with the C-urea breath test (C-UBT). In the yogurt group the C-UBT value decreased from 36.2 at baseline to 30.1 after 4 weeks and further to 28.2 after 8 weeks. Endoscopy confirmed the control of the H.pylori infection in 14 randomly selected patients. The researchers conclude that yogurt is effective in decreasing gastritis activity, but cautions that a regular intake of yogurt is required in order to maintain control of the underlying H.pylori infection.
Wang, KY, et al. Effects of ingesting Lactobacillus- and Bifidobacterium-containing yogurt in subjects with colonized Helicobacter pylori. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, September 2004, pp. 737-41