Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) can cause a wide range of problems from chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, iron deficiency anemia, and stomach cancer to diseases of the liver, cardiovascular system, skin, and many other body systems. H. pylori infection is closely linked to coronary heart disease, rosacea, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, migraines, and fibromyalgia.
Testing for H. pylori can be done through multiple avenues, including a blood test to check for the presence of H. pylori antibodies, a breath test, or a stool antigen test to check for H. pylori in stool samples. If you are at risk for ulcers or stomach cancer you’ll want to know how to get rid of H. pylori.
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H. Pylori Natural Treatment
Treatment for H. pylori can take both a conventional and natural path. H. pylori natural treatment cannot only help eradicate H. pylori infection, but also reduce inflammation of the stomach lining and even help prevent the risk of stomach cancer.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help to maintain the health of the intestinal tract, aid in digestion, and help keep potentially harmful organisms in the gut, such as H. pylori, under control. Many studies have demonstrated that probiotics, including Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species, have an inhibitory effect on H. pylori.
Although some studies have reported that probiotics alone are somewhat efficacious in treating H. pylori infection, they may be more useful when used as a supplemental therapy along with either conventional or natural antimicrobial drugs or herbs. Most studies have looked at probiotics in conjunction with standard conventional drug treatment. Researchers recently analyzed the results of 21 studies involving thousands of participants, concluding that supplementing with probiotics along with standard therapy significantly improves the cure rates and reduces the risk of antibiotic-associated side effects.
Whether you are treated with conventional medications or not, the addition of a probiotic supplement both during and after your H. pylori eradication treatment is recommended. The ideal dose depends on the type of probiotic used. Generally, at least 10 to 20 billion CFU’s per day is recommended, away from antibiotics and/or herbal antimicrobials.
N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is a natural antioxidant and mucous-dissolving nutrient that destroys the biofilm of H. pylori. H. pylori’s biofilm is what helps it to survive in the stomach and resist antibiotic treatment. Like probiotics, NAC supplementation has been shown to help treat H. pylori infection and overcome antibiotic resistance. A typical recommended dose is 600 mg three times daily between meals.
Herbal extracts and phytonutrients, many with antibacterial actions, are often used by natural practitioners to help eradicate H. pylori. Some researched herbal extracts shown to be effective against H. pylori include:[6,7]
- De-glycyrrhizinated licorice extract (DGL)
- Ginger root extract
- Garlic extract
- Capsaicin (from red peppers)
- Sulphoraphane (from Bassica family plants like broccoli sprouts)
- Red ginseng extract
- Epigallocatechin gallate (one of the green tea catechins)
- Red wine extract and resveratrol
- Quercetin (a flavonoid)
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium supplementation will help lower your risk of dying from stomach or esophageal cancer after H. pylori infection has been treated. This combination of antioxidant nutrients was studied in a large placebo controlled trial involving thousands of people with H. pylori.
Patients received vitamin C (250 mg), vitamin E (100 IU as alpha tocopherol), and selenium from yeast (37.5 μg) or placebo; taken twice daily for 7.5 years after their original H. pylori infections were treated with standard drugs (omeprazole and amoxicillin). The researchers then followed up with the patients after another seven years.
The long-term antioxidant supplementation was statistically significantly associated with reduced death from stomach and esophageal cancer.
A good quality, high-potency multivitamin and mineral supplement should provide vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium in amounts close to those used in the study above, although you may need to supplement with extra vitamin C to reach the full daily dose of 500 mg.
Conventional H. pylori Treatment
The standard conventional treatment is referred to as “triple therapy.” It consists of a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) along with two antibiotics—clarithromycin and amoxicillin. Quadruple therapy with three antibiotics is also used. However, even quadruple therapy is no longer efficacious in many cases because of rampant antibiotic resistance. The standard drugs used also cause many side effects, including bloating, diarrhea, and taste disturbances. The side effects often lead patients to fail to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, further reducing effectiveness.
H. Pylori Treatment: What to Try First
If you’ve been diagnosed with H. pylori infection you have the option of trying Helicobacter pylori natural treatment in place of, or in conjunction with, standard drug treatment. Whether it’s best to use an all-natural approach or to use natural therapies alongside conventional ones will depend, in part, on how much damage has already occurred to the stomach lining.
If your H. pylori infection is mild and the damage is minimal, starting with an all-natural approach makes sense. While many different natural treatments may be effective, here’s a recommended protocol based on the natural remedies discussed above:
- Probiotic: such as Primadophilus Optima by Nature’s Way, containing 35 billion CFUs per capsule. Take 1 capsule twice daily for 1 month, then 1 capsule per day for 2 additional months.
- N-acetylcysteine (NAC): 600 mg three times daily between meals for 3 months.
- Deglycyrrizinated Licorice (DGL): such as DGL by Enzymatic Therapy. Chew 2 tablets (760mg) 20 minutes before each meal for 3 months.
- Garlic extract: such as Kyolic Reserve Aged Garlic Extract. Take 1 tablet (600 mg) twice daily with meals for 3 months.
In addition to the supplements above, take a multivitamin and eat the following foods as often as possible:
- Fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi
- High-phytonutrient foods, such as green tea, ginger, turmeric, and berries, and broccoli sprouts.
Share Your H. Pylori Treatment Experience
Have you treated an H. pylori infection with natural medicine? Please share your experience so others who are interested in natural health can learn from you. Just scroll down the page to leave a comment below.
 Medscape. Drugs and Diseases. H. Pylori Infection. Last updated Dec. 27, 2015.
Originally published in January 2016 and updated.