Foods That Kill H. Pylori Bacteria

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According to wakegastro.com, Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that infects the stomach lining of up to 50 percent of Americans over 60 years of age. Infection by H. pylori can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. The bacteria weakens the mucous layer in the stomach wall, exposing the tissue underneath to acidic conditions that create irritability. There are several drugs and antibiotics prescribed for treatment, but there are also foods that kill H. pylori.

A man gets his blood drawn to test for Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
A man gets his blood drawn to test for Helicobacter pylori bacteria. (Image: Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Identification

H. pylori bacteria has been associated with the onset of peptic ulcers and gastric tumors. It is routinely treated with antibiotics and other drugs, says HealthNewsflash.com, but some strains have proven to be resistant. Ironically, lowering the pH level of the stomach, making it more acidic, inhibits the bacteria, though most people respond to the symptoms of irritation by taking antacids.

A woman holds her stomach in pain.
A woman holds her stomach in pain. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Sulforaphane

According to Johns Hopkins University, a nutrient called sulphoraphane is effective in killing H. pylori bacteria in the stomach lining, including strains resistant to other drugs. It also inhibits gastric tumor formation. The single best source of dietary sulphoraphane is broccoli. Broccoli sprouts contain 30 to 50 times more sulphoraphane than the mature plant. Other cruciferous vegetables, including kale, cauliflower and cabbage, also contain sulphoraphane to a lesser extent.

A close up of broccoli florets.
A close up of broccoli florets. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Inhibitors

Other foods have shown the ability to inhibit H. pylori in trials, though no clinical tests have verified the claims, according to Acu-Cell.com. Foods in this category include garlic, onions, licorice, cinnamon, coconut oil and hot peppers. Because these foods do not kill the bacteria, they should not be considered a cure.

A woman crushes garlic with the side of a knife.
A woman crushes garlic with the side of a knife. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Bromelain

Bromelain is a sulfur-containing enzyme found in bromeliad plants like the pineapple. Sipping pineapple juice regularly, says Acu-Cell.com, can be an effective treatment against H. pylori infection, particularly for individuals who cannot withstand medical treatments that increase the acidity of the stomach to suppress the bacteria.

A woman cuts up a pineapple.
A woman cuts up a pineapple. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Probiotics

According to Acu-Cell.com, the consumption of probiotics and "good" bacteria such as acidophilus and bifidus do not have a direct impact on H. pylori. However, they are often recommended for individuals treating H. pylori as a way to repopulate the digestive system with beneficial microbes that could be lost through the course of the treatment.

A woman eats a bowl of probiotic rich yogurt.
A woman eats a bowl of probiotic rich yogurt. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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