Helicobacter pylori – an inconspicuous spiral bacterium, adapted to life in the stomach, being one of the main factors responsible for the damage to the mucous membrane of this organ, involved in the pathogenesis of mucositis, gastric and duodenal stomach ulcers and gastric cancer. H. pylori is a serious ulcerogenic factor – researchers have detected the presence of H.pylori in almost every case of peptic ulcers, and the so-called eradication allowed for complete resolution of the disease in almost 90% of people. About 20% of carriers of this bacterium get susceptible to peptic ulcer disease.
The role of H. pylori in the development of aforementioned diseases prompts the inclusion of appropriate eradication therapy – leading to the total elimination of all forms of bacteria. This treatment is based on the administration of antibiotics or chemotherapeutics in combination with antiulcer drugs (mainly proton pump inhibitors). The effectiveness of the therapy is high, however, it has numerous side effects. It mainly leads to the depletion of the physiological bacterial flora of the gastrointestinal tract and digestive ailments.
Probiotics are live microorganisms with a confirmed positive effect on the human body. Currently, there are many studies on the effect of supplementation of probiotic strains on the efficacy of H. pylori eradication and the relieving side effects of pharmacological treatment. One of the probiotics capable of improving eradicative therapy is undoubtedly the yeast Saccharomyces boulardii. This richly documented probiotic strain has a number of positive properties on the body. The conclusions from several publications presented below support the use of this strain in H. pylori carriers as well.
Eradication of H. pylori in children is very important not only due to the resolution of digestive problems, but also the prevention of subsequent complications in form of cancer. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of S. boulardii supplementation. Children with asymptomatic carriers of H. pylori participated in the study. After a month of supplementation, the research group had a decrease in the level of H. pylori antigens in the faeces (HpSA), while there was no change in the placebo group. This result indicates the positive effect of S. boulardii on the reduction of H. pylori colonization, however, it’s not proof of the strain’s ability to completely eradicate this bacterial species.
Another experiment was carried out on people undergoing triple eradication therapy with antibiotics – clarithromycin and amoxicillin and antiulcer drugs – lansoprazole. The aim of the study was to verify the potential role of S. boulardii in the prevention of side effects of treatment and the impact on the efficacy of H. pylori eradication. A randomly chosen placebo group, unlike the group receiving yeast culture of S. boulardii, experienced much more side effects in form of diarrhea, epigastric discomfort, diffuse abdominal pain, gas, nausea and urticaria. In addition, the degree of H. pylori eradication was higher in the study group than in the placebo group.
Conclusions from another, similar study, with the main difference that was carried out on children, are analogous – supplementation S. boulardii in combination with triple eradication therapy H. pylori significantly reduces side effects of therapy and to a small extent can improve the effectiveness of treatment.
The above studies show that supplementation with S. boulardii probiotic yeast significantly improves the tolerance of treatment and may increase the effectiveness of therapy. As it’s known, probiotic microorganisms have immunomodulatory activity and compete with pathogenic bacteria for their place of living and nutrients. Most probably, these are some of the mechanisms responsible for the positive influence of S. boulardii on the course of therapy against H. pylori.