Identified by German scientists in 1875 in the human stomach, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is a germ that has been present in the human stomach for many centuries. When it was first discovered, it could not be cultivated, so research projects on it were halted. It was only in 1982 that two Australian medical specialists isolated it again, revealing that this intestinal bacterium is the cause of gastric ulcers and duodenal cancers. This intestinal infection develops in the human stomach and is highly resistant to the acidity of the stomach wall. However, according to some recent studies and revelations in scientific journals, the Helicobacter pylori bacterium is, in fact, not a bad germ. On the contrary, it would even be beneficial according to analyses carried out on mice.
The Helicobacter pylori bacterium
Helical in shape, hence its scientific name, this bacterium is about three micrometers long with a diameter of about 0.5 micrometers. It has four to six flagella. It is thanks to its shape and its flagella that the bacterium manages to adhere to the stomach lining by secreting a certain enzyme that will neutralize the acidity of the stomach lining and thus promote the development of ulcers. This bacterium can be detected in the stool, in saliva, and also in dental plaque. An individual who is contaminated with this bacteria must follow an antibiotic treatment, otherwise, the ulcer will not heal and could even recur over a lifetime. The symptoms of this infection due to Helicobacter pylori bacteria may not be visible. It should be noted that most of this infection is asymptomatic. However, Helicobacter pylori infections can cause abdominal pain, gastric reflux, nausea, vomiting, and regurgitation.
Diseases related to Helicobacter Pylori bacteria
Many diseases of varying degrees of severity affect some patients who have been infected with the germ of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Indeed, according to health statistics, this germ is often responsible for dyspepsia, duodenal ulcers, recurrent gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, which can develop into cancer, and finally Parkinson’s disease. On the other hand, the bacterium seems to have some protection against cancer of the esophagus, although this is not very common compared to cancer of the stomach. With the right antibiotic treatment, the infected person can be cured quickly.
The health-promoting Helicobacter pylori bacteria?
According to some research carried out on mice by a nutritional immunology department, the Helicobacter pylori bacterium has a dual effect on the body. Despite the dreaded diseases that this bacterium can cause, Helicobacter pylori could protect and balance the body. This bacterium would have a beneficial effect on the control of certain inflammatory infections, on certain allergies, on the immune system, the regulation of glycemia but also obesity. Tests carried out on mice have shown the positive effect of this bacterium. Thus, by inoculating mice with the Helicobacter Pylori strain of bacteria, it would appear that fasting blood sugar levels have decreased and that the peptide hormone, which regulates the appetite, has also increased and, as a result, the weight has decreased significantly. This bacterium would, therefore, have the power to protect against obesity, to promote immune tolerance, but also the balance of homeostasis that ensures the proper functioning of the body by keeping body fluids within the limits of established standards, for example, improving glucose tolerance.
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The PlosOne study is available at this address.