I’ve received hundreds of emails from people confused about which natural supplements to take in order to inhibit H pylori. The truth is that there are many companies out there who are eager to take your money and provide very little in the way of answers or support should you feel as though their products are not working.
I hope that by sharing my experience of dealing with hundreds of H pylori cases over the last three years I can help you choose the right path on your journey to wellness.
Berberine is a constituent of herbs such as goldenseal, barberry and Oregon grape. It has been shown to have broad-spectrum antibiotic activity. Studies in vitro have demonstrated that berberine can inhibit H pylori, but it may not be potent enough to eradicate the organism.
2. Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root (DGL)
DGL is a well established anti-ulceration and mucosal healing agent. DGL can coat and soothe the intestinal lining and promote the healing of inflamed tissue and ulcers. Research suggests that flavonoids in licorice have impressive antimicrobial activity against H pylori. The flavonoids have actually been shown to have antimicrobial activity against strains of H pylori that were resistant to clarithromycin and amoxicillin, two of the primary antibiotics used in triple therapy. Because DGL has low glyyrrhizin levels it is generally safe to take if you have high or low blood pressure, but please check with a physician.
3. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand. It is often promoted as a food that can kill H pylori. Whilst this may be the case, it is worth remembering that honey is essentially sugar. We know that Candida and other species of yeast thrive on sugar and we also know that there is a close relationship between H pylori infection and Candida overgrowth. For this reason, I do not recommend the use manuka honey for people who have digestive problems as I believe there are better alternatives. But you should not rule its use out as it may help you on an individual basis.
4. Mastic Gum
The protocol I originally learned in my functional medicine training involved the use of mastic gum and a supplement called Bio-HPF, which contains several herbs as well as bismuth. Interestingly, bismuth medications are recommended as part of quadruple therapy protocols alongside antibiotics. If you use bismuth products they can turn your stool darker and it is not recommended that you use bismuth for longer than 60-days.
Despite doctors and practitioners reporting great success using the mastic and Bio-HPF program, it didn’t work for me. My symptoms actually worsened when I started taking these supplements. Despite my poor reaction to the mastic program, there is quite a large body of research demonstrating its efficacy against H pylori and mastic gum has been shown to kill H pylori in vitro.
5. Matula Herbal Formula
Matula Herbal Formula resolved my symptoms very quickly. In fact I was staggered by the speed at which my symptoms eased using the product. I have had detailed discussions with the Matula staff and they have a very open and honest approach to business. I read the technical report on Matula that was put together by Professor Patrick J. D. Bouic of the Department of Medical Microbiology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and whilst this is not strictly independent research, it makes for impressive reading In vitro testing on H pylori revealed that every time Matula came into contact with H pylori, it killed 93% of the organisms. Although these tests were performed in vitro (outside the body), the level of clinical success I have observed using Matula has confirmed its effectiveness.
You will doubtless read mixed reports about Matula on the Internet. Because it is a relatively expensive product, people are naturally disappointed if they do not feel better when they take it. But as I taught you in part one of this book and in the H Pylori Diet section, just taking a ‘miracle’ product, whether it’s a pill a tea or a potion, won’t work if your symptoms are being caused by the food that you eat, dehydration and other infections! Unfortunately some folk still believe that they can eat McDonalds three times a day and take a product like Matula that cures all their ills. I’d like to encourage you not to believe everything you read on the Internet, particularly if people have written the material in an emotionally charged state.
6. Siberian Pine Nut Oil
I personally do not have any experience of using pine nut oil. I have read mixed reports about it on the Internet and have received emails from people who have used it without any success. To date I have not seen any research that proves its efficacy. Nevertheless there are some positive testimonials on some websites. Recall that olive oil has been shown to contain antimicrobial properties against H pylori. It is certainly possible that pine nut oil contains similar properties that help it work against the bacteria.
Sulforaphane is a naturally occurring chemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts. A number of studies have demonstrated that it has the capacity to inhibit H pylori. Eating cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli sprouts, will ensure that you get plenty of sulforaphane, but it is also available in capsule form from several supplement manufacturers, including a product called Broccomax and one called Onco-SGS.
8. Vitamin C
Some studies have suggested that vitamin C may inhibit and even kill H pylori. In a review of the literature, Dr. Alan Gaby, MD concludes that vitamin C therapy for H pylori may be clinically relevant, but that more research is needed to determine the optimal dosing and program duration. Even if vitamin C does not eradicate H pylori, it is still worth taking a controlled dose because studies clearly show that vitamin C levels in the stomach lining can be reduced when H pylori is present, largely as a result of the inflammatory and oxidative stress caused by the infection. Vitamin C is also an excellent nutrient for assisting with gut healing.
9. ‘Vitamin U’
Vitamin U – also known as MSM – is found in raw cabbage. In fact, vitamin U is not actually a vitamin at all. Cabbage juice has been studied extensively in Russia and other Eastern European countries for the healing of damaged and eroded intestinal mucosa. It is not actually a vitamin per se. It appears to enhance the healing of damaged tissue and may assist in healing ulcers.
To my knowledge, zinc-l-carnosine has not been shown to have antimicrobial properties against H pylori. However it is excellent for repairing damage to the stomach lining, including ulcers. It can be taken alongside any of the antimicrobial agents to augment the healing process.
ONE SLIGHT PROBLEM
Whilst I’ve done my best to list the natural products that are scientifically and clinically shown to inhibit H pylori bacteria, you still have the problem of knowing exactly which products to buy.
Supplements are not all manufactured under the same conditions and you will find that one bottle of mastic gum from manufacturer A, may be a lot higher quality than a bottle of mastic gum from manufacturer B.
It’s also very important to know how much of each product to take each day, when to take it – with food or on an empty stomach – and for how long. All these factors will influence whether your natural program is successful or not.