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Health News Archive 183 - Ulcer
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Berry Extracts Help Prevent Ulcers

Berry extracts help kill the bacteria that cause most ulcers and improve the efficacy of prescription ulcer therapy, according to a report from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacteria that infects the stomach and small intestine, is associated with up to 90% of cases of peptic ulcer disease, as well as with gastric carcinoma and one type of lymphoma. H. pylori may also be linked to gastroesophageal reflux disease, or heartburn. Conventional treatment of H. pylori employs antibiotics combined with an inhibitor of acid secretion and/or a bismuth compound. Treatment failure is common, due either to difficulty in adhering to the complex medication regime or to the bacteria’s resistance to antibiotics.

The Nebraska researchers demonstrated that berry extracts not only inhibit the growth of H. pylori, but also render it more susceptible to clarithromycin, one of the antibiotics used to eradicate the bacteria. H. pylori bacteria were incubated with extracts of raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, elderberry, blueberry, or bilberry, or with a combination of all six berries, for 18 hours. The mixture was then incubated with clarithromycin for an additional hour prior to growth assessment on Petri plates. All of the berry extracts inhibited H. pylori growth and increased its sensitivity to clarithromycin better than controls. The combined extracts exhibited greater potency than did the individual berry extracts.

Because of the serious nature of its associated medical conditions, anyone who tests positive for H. pylori should seek professional medical treatment. This study suggests that the use of non-antibiotic supplements such as berry extracts improves the efficacy of antibiotic treatments.

Reference

Chatterjee A, Yasmin T, Bagchi D, Stohs SJ. Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori in vitro by various berry extracts, with enhanced susceptibility to clarithromycin. Mol Cell Biochem. 2004 Oct;265(1-2):19-26.

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