H Pylori Diet
H pylori is a common gastrointestinal infection which has been known to cause stomach ulcer symptoms and general gastritis. While H pylori is generally treated with antibiotic therapy, did you know that an H pylori diet can significantly improve your response to the infection?
In this article, we will be revealing the super foods and dietary practices which can suppress H pylori infection and minimize its impact.
High Protein Diets, Fruits, and Vegetables
High protein diets can mitigate the damage caused by H pylori infection (1). In the study cited, researches found that cell damage suffered by gerbils was minimized when given a high protein diet.
Another interesting feature of the study was that damage suffered by cells was directly related to inflammation. In humans, it is accepted as common knowledge that certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties. It is not unreasonable to think that consuming these foods could reduce inflammation and help minimize damage caused by H pylori. Here is a list of foods:
- Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, krill oil)
- Nearly every fruit and vegetable (no sugar added)
On the other hand, trans fats, omega-6 fats (soybean and corn oils are the most common), nearly every type of grain, and red meat (due to high iron content) has some inflammatory capacity.
Note that while grass-fed red meat is certainly healthier and can be made part of a balanced, healthy diet, it still contains high amounts of iron. Iron is a powerful oxidant so avoiding red meat is a good idea for an H pylori diet.
In theory it could be quite beneficial to minimize red meat and grain intake, and eat a higher-protein diet of lean meats and fish, along plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, a few cultures which seem “ulcer resistant” tend to have a large portion of their carbohydrate intake come from legumes (i.e. various beans) and a particularly fibrous grain known as millet. These groups which have low ulcer rates consume very little wheat, rice, or typical western grains despite living in areas with high H pylori infection rates.
Probiotics, or bacteria-promoting compounds, represent an interesting addition to an H pylori diet. Various studies have concluded that H pylori treatment can be improved by adding probiotics including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium to the diet (2, 3, 4).
The type of probiotic used in an H pylori diet used is important. As one study found that yogurt containing probiotics was not adequate, you need to check the label of your supplement to make sure it contains everything you need (5).
We recommend making sure the supplement of choice contains both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and has been refrigerated. Do not buy a probiotic that has not been refridgerated as you could be paying for dead bacteria.
Why do probiotics help and why would you want to include them in an H pylori diet? Healthy humans have bacteria in their gastrointestinal system which help us digest food (giving us Vitamin K among other nutrients) and even do battle against harmful invaders.
The problem is that typical antibiotic courses used to treat H pylori also kill off this healthy, “good bacteria” as well. Probiotics can help reintroduce this good bacteria into our system which is conducive to digestive health, especially given how intense the antibiotics for H pylori treatment are.
Helicobacter Pylori Diet Conclusion
While we definitely still recommend following appropriate medical avenues for treatment, modifying your diet can certainly help. To sum it up, we recommend eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen are fine but make sure there is no sugar added), regular portions of protein from lean meat sources, choosing legumes, beans, and millet over traditional grains, and supplementing with fish oil and probiotics. We recommend minimizing sugars, trans fats, red meat, and omega-6 fats.
1. Shinozaki K, Kamada T, Sugiu K, Kusunoki H, Manabe N, Shiotani A, Hata J, Teramoto F, Haruma K. High-protein diet suppresses corpus atrophic gastritis in Helicobacter pylori infected Mongolian gerbils. Nutr Cancer. 2010 Nov;62(8):1067-73.
2. de Bortoli N et al. Helicobacter pylori eradication: a randomized prospective study of triple therapy versus triple therapy plus lactoferrin and probiotics. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 May;102(5):951-6.
3. Sheu BS, Wu JJ, Lo CY, Wu HW, Chen JH, Lin YS, Lin MD. Impact of supplement with Lactobacillus- and Bifidobacterium-containing yogurt on triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori eradication. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Sep;16(9):1669-75.
4. Kim MN et al. The effects of probiotics on PPI-triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori eradication. Helicobacter. 2008 Aug;13(4):261-8.
5. Yaşar B et al. Efficacy of probiotics in Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2010 Sep;21(3):212-7.