Study: H. Pylori in a New, Beneficial Role in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) is an umbrella term for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease involving chronic inflammation in the digestive tract. Common symptoms are fatigue, pain, and reduction in appetite. IBD is thought to be caused by the patient’s immune response or infection.

Eurekalert recently published an article reporting on new studies by Chinese researchers at the Peking Medical College and China’s Academy of Medical Sciences. The studies, led by Dr. Hong Yang, give rise to the possibility that there are other factors influencing IBD. For example, H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) previously thought to cause peptic ulcers, gastric cancer, and gastritis, has taken on a new role as a result of the study, which was published in the Chinese Medical Journal in March 2022.

About Gut Bacteria

Gut bacteria can affect a person’s health negatively or in a positive way. A substantial amount of good bacteria will have a positive effect on a person’s health. The opposite is true of bad bacteria which may cause depression, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Previous studies have indicated that an imbalance between harmful and beneficial bacteria may be the cause of IBD. People with IBD have less bacteria diversity and gut microbiota compared to healthy individuals.

Gut microbiota is defined as microorganisms that colonize the digestive tract. This colonization of the intestine is important for the normal function of the immune system in humans.

IBD patients have decreased bacteridetes and firmicutes. Both are a type of bacteria found in the human gut and are considered to be critically important human fecal microbiota.

Dr. Yang noted that the positive role enacted by H. pylori in IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma sheds new light on its image showing it as a beneficial microorganism rather than being harmful and disease-causing.

‌IBD’s Existence Varies According to Geographic Location

The incidence of IBD varies. There is a high amount of H. Pylori in Asia and an extremely low number of IBD cases. Studies have found the same inverse correlation between H. pylori infections versus IBD in mouse models.

Dr. Yang suggests that by inducing gastric system changes, H. pylori might bring about protection from IBD by interacting with microbiota in the large intestine.

Advising caution, Dr. Yang urged clinicians to avoid eradicating H. pylori as suggested in some medical guidelines. Instead, she advises selective eradication of H. pylori in certain subgroups of high-risk patients as the best course to follow.

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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