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Safely Reduce a Common Cause of Stomach Distress

By Carl Goldman

The most common culprit behind gastritis and peptic ulcer disease is infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.1-7

H. pylori are so pervasive that almost 50% of the public are walking around with this bacterium in their stomach right now—and most don’t know it.6,8

Even though H. pylori can lead to painful gastritis and ulcers,7 it often causes no symptoms at all.5 This silent invasion is especially dangerous because infection with H. pylori is also the primary cause of stomach cancer,9 a deadly malignancy.8,10 This makes management of H. pylori critical not only for treating and preventing painful ulcers, but also for lowering the risk of gastric cancer.

Most physicians treat H. pylori infections with a powerful antibiotic combination.11 Although effective in approximately 80% of cases, the rise in antibiotic resistance has been associated with an increased failure rate in standard therapy for H. pylori.12,13

Japanese researchers have found a better way to help control H. pylori over the longer term. By combining two unique nutrients, they can reduce and manage H. pylori. Added to this nutrient protocol is a specific beneficial strain of Lactobacillus reuteri that also reduces the presence of H. pylori.

The goal of this natural approach is to safely heal and repair the stomach lining, lower inflammation, and minimize the presence of H. pylori, thereby reducing chronic stomach problems along with the risk of ulcers and cancer.

Powerful Stomach Protection

H. pylori  

H. pylori is a spiral-shaped bacterium that winds its way into the stomach’s protective mucous lining where it can live for years. Over time, H. pylori steadily erodes the stomach’s essential mucous barrier, leaving it exposed to harsh acids that result in distress ranging from gastritis to cancer.7

Japanese scientists pioneered the use of a unique combination of the mineral zinc with the amino acid-derived carnosine molecule that provides powerful actions against H. pylori and safely restores stomach health.14,15 Called zinc-carnosine, this compound offers physical protection for vulnerable stomach linings, while quelling much of the inflammation seen in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

This zinc-carnosine combination—a prescription drug in Japan and other countries—also has powerful effects against H. pylori. This means that it not only soothes an aching belly, but also offers protection against stomach cancer.

A second way of helping control H. pylori in the body is through the use of a specialized version of a heat-treated organism calledLactobacillus reuteri, strain DSMZ 17648. Through a unique mechanism, this form of Lactobacillus reuteri forms clumps with H. pylori organisms, promoting their excretion from the body and lowering their levels in the stomach. Used in combination, these natural products may be expected to relieve stomach pain related to gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, promote natural healing, and prevent gastric cancers related to H. pylori.

What You Need to Know
Stomach Health

Natural Support for Stomach Health

  • The most common causes of stomach pain in older adults are gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, both of which are associated with H. pylori infection, which is in turn associated with increased stomach cancer risk.30
  • Treatment from mainstream medical practitioners is likely to include multiple antibiotics and a potent stomach-acid suppressor.
  • Two natural products, zinc-carnosine and a selected strain of beneficial bacteria may ameliorate gastritis and peptic ulcer disease symptoms without the side effects associated with mainstream therapy.
  • Zinc-carnosine sticks to ulcers, blocking erosive stomach contents from attacking the stomach wall and thus promoting healing.
  • Zinc-carnosine also has an anti-H. pylori effect.
  • Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSMZ 17648 aggregates with H. pylori organisms, removing them from the stomach and reducing the load of infection.
  • Use of these products may ease symptoms of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease while reducing stomach cancer risk.

Zinc-Carnosine

Studies show that zinc has numerous potent protective effects on the stomach.16,17 When it is linked with carnosine, those effects far surpass what either molecule can accomplish on its own. This unique combination solves multiple stomach problems, unlike single-purpose medications or over-the-counter treatments.

With its unique mechanism, zinc-carnosine gets delivered directly to the stomach wall, exactly where it is needed most. Once there, it sticks specifically to ulcer lesions, releasing its contents, which can heal the ulcer.15,18

Together, zinc-carnosine complex offers a comprehensive approach to addressing gastritis and peptic ulcer disease:

  • It repairs damaged mucous lining, stimulates mucous secretion, and promotes healing.19,20
  • It reduces inflammation.21
  • It inhibits the growth and damaging effects of H. pylori.15,22,23

In one study, 25 patients diagnosed with gastric ulcers took 75 mg of zinc-carnosine twice daily for 8 weeks.24 By the end of the study, subjects experienced:

  • 63.6% reduction in heartburn,
  • 80% reduction in belching,
  • 66.7% reduction in nausea, and
  • 76.9% reduction in abdominal distention.

In almost 91% of subjects, stomach pain at night had completely disappeared, healing was observed in 65% of subjects during endoscopic assessment, and almost 71% showed reduced stomach tenderness.24

A second study published at the same time demonstrated that zinc-carnosine outperformed cetraxate, a drug that is commonly used to treat ulcers.25 This was a multicenter double-blind comparative study that involved 299 patients with gastric ulcers who were evaluated endoscopically.

In the group taking 150 mg of zinc-carnosine, 60.4% had ulcer healing that was confirmed using an endoscopy, compared with just 46.2% of the cetraxate drug recipients, a statistically significant difference.25

In a third study, the important outcome being measured was H. pylori status.22 Here, 66 patients with proven H. pylori infections received the most common therapy of two antibiotics, plus the proton pump inhibitor lansoprazole (Prevacid®). Half of the subjects were also randomly assigned to receive, in addition, 150 mg of zinc-carnosine twice daily.

Among subjects who completed the study, H. pylori was eradicated in 86% of subjects taking the three drug combination therapy alone. In the group also taking zinc-carnosine, H. pylori was eradicated in 100% of subjects!22

Clearly, these impressive results have now been repeated numerous times, and all have shown significant improvements in symptoms and in endoscopic examinations after 8 weeks of continuous treatment with zinc-carnosine at doses of 75 to 150 mg twice daily.

Lactobacillus reuteri Removes H. pylori

Lactobacillus reuteri  

Meanwhile, a special form of heated-treated Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSMZ 17648 is also generating considerable excitement in the prevention of gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and ultimately, stomach cancer.

Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSMZ 17648 was selected from among 700 different strains of Lactobacillus species, primarily for its unique ability to bind to H. pylori organisms under conditions found in the stomach. Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSMZ 17648 binds to H. pylori organisms, which are then passed harmlessly from the gastrointestinal tract, an action that decreases the amount of these bacteria in the stomach—entirely without antibiotics and their risks.26

One way to determine whether or not H. pylori is present in the stomach is with a urea breath test, which measures a product ofH. pylori metabolism in the subject’s breath. Two separate human studies have used this test to determine the effect of Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSMZ 17648 on H. pylori.26,27

In both studies, subjects either took two tablets of Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSMZ 17648 twice a day for 2 weeks, or a placebo. And in both studies, the supplement significantly reduced the amount of H. pylori as indicated by the urea breath test, while the placebo had no effect.

It’s important to note that even though these subjects had proven H. pylori infections, none of them had any symptoms. Since H. pylori is known to contribute to stomach cancer even in patients without symptoms,8,28 the ability of Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSMZ 17648 to lessen H. pylori makes these studies especially important.

Caution:

People who are taking antibiotic therapy for H. pylori should not stop the antibiotics until they are finished, and should not use zinc-carnosine and the L. reuteri as a replacement for antibiotic therapy. However, for greater efficacy, these natural ingredients can be used in combination with standard antibiotic therapy.22

Common Stomach Ailments
Common Stomach Ailments

Gastritis

Gastritis is a general term for inflammation and swelling of the lining of the stomach. In the US, gastritis produces between 1.8 and 2.1 million visits to health care providers annually.31

The stomach contains a thick protective coating of mucous, secreted by specialized cells that prevent the stomach’s natural acids from destroying it.32 Gastritis arises from damage to that mucous layer.31,32 The biggest cause of gastritis is infection with the bacterium H. pylori, which generates inflammation and mucosal damage.31-33 We can also do substantial damage to our mucous lining with alcohol and over-the-counter and prescription drugs (especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs).31,32

Symptoms of acute gastritis vary from individual to individual, but most describe a pain or discomfort in the upper middle portion of the abdomen. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, belching, and/or bloating.31

Diagnosis of gastritis is usually made by clinical history and physical examination, though endoscopy may be used to confirm the diagnosis and distinguish it from peptic ulcer disease.34

Peptic Ulcer Disease

Peptic ulcer disease is a condition that produces ulcers in the stomach lining, leaving even deeper tissues exposed to the acidic environment of the stomach. It affects nearly 4.5 million Americans each year.35 As with gastritis, the trigger for peptic ulcer disease is usually infection by H. pylori, which damages the protective mucous layer, allowing acid and pepsin to destroy exposed stomach tissue.35

The threat posed by H. pylori cannot be overstated: among people known to be infected, about 20% will develop peptic ulcer disease in their lifetimes. The proportion of people with H. pylori infection rises steadily with age, probably contributing to the age-related increase in the disease.35

Drug use (NSAIDs) and tobacco are linked to peptic ulcer disease as well.35 As many as 25% of people taking regular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will develop ulcers, and about 3% of those will develop acute and dangerous complications like bleeding or stomach perforation.36

Peptic ulcers are characterized mainly by pain in the upper central portion of the abdomen. The pain is often described as a “gnawing” or “burning” sensation, usually shortly after meals.35

Diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease is often made on endoscopy, when biopsies may be taken to reveal the depth and extent of ulcers.

Gastric Cancer

Gastric cancer (stomach cancer) is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.8,10

Since 1930, stomach cancer rates in the United States have been declining. This is often attributed to reduced dietary ingestion of nitrate-preserved and pickled foods.37 Stomach cancer nonetheless strikes 26,000 Americans each year and causes more than 10,000 deaths.38

H. pylori is the most important contributing factor to stomach cancer.9 People who have H. pylori infection may have no symptoms, but the infection raises stomach cancer risk just the same, while eradication of H. pylori can reduce the risk of stomach cancer, even when no symptoms are present.8

Clearly, gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and gastric cancer afflict so many people that prevention is indicated on a wide scale.

Summary

Summary  

Stomach pain is widespread and may represent gastritis or peptic ulcer disease. Both conditions are closely associated with H. pylori infection, which is also implicated in stomach cancer.28 While mainstream medicine utilizes powerful antibiotics and stomach acid reducers to eliminate H. pylori, painful stomach symptoms sometimes persist.29

Zinc-carnosine and Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSMZ 17648 are natural products that attack the sources of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease without affecting beneficial stomach acid, and without antibiotics.

Zinc-carnosine, sold as a drug in Japan, produces a physical barrier between erosive stomach contents and the damaged stomach wall, preventing further injury. It also reduces inflammatory responses and has been shown to reduce infection with H. pylori.

Lactobacillus reuteri strain DSMZ 17648 physically binds to H. pylori, causing them to aggregate or “stick” together.26 They are then passed out of the gastrointestinal tract, helping to lower the load of organisms in the stomach.

Both of these compounds have produced significant symptom relief and reduction in H. pylori in people with gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.

References

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