A strain of probiotic bacteria, that may be useful in treating ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori, has been identified by Spanish scientists.
Researchers say that "Helicobacter pylori is considered one of the major risk factors underlying the development
of gastritis and gastric and duodenal ulcers."
At this time, antibiotic-based treatment for H. pylori infection is neither satisfactory nor sufficient, with the most successful treatments reaching 75-90pc eradication rates. Researchers say, that the use of probiotics is a potentially promising tool to prevent Helicobacter pylori.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization & the World Health Organization, probiotics are "live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit to the host."
Taking probiotic microoganisms on a regular basis, has been demonstrated to prevent several disorders including inflammatory bowel disease & diarrhea.
Among probiotics, Bifidobacterium is one of the favorite genera in studies focused on the prevention of gastrointestinal infection and is often used in fermented dairy products or food supplements.
In vitro studies (in test tubes or petri dishes) have been done, showing bifidobacterial activity against H. pylori. The researchers tested numerous strains of bifidobacteria isolated from the feces of breast-fed infants for activity against H pylori.
One strain was identified (Bifidobacterium bifidum CECT 7366). Under certain conditions it had an inhibition level of nearly 95% in vitro and tested its activity against infection in mice.
After 21 days, the mice that was treated with the potentially probiotic strain, developed considerably less ulcers than the control group.
Additional tests imply that treatment partially relieved damage to gastric tissue caused by H. pylori infection. Ingestion of the bacteria did not induce any disease or mortality in both healthy and immunocompromised mice.
24 June 2011