We have long known that yogurt, a fermented milk product with live bacteria, is a healthy food with plenty of calcium, protein, and other nutrients like probiotics that we need for health. Now, human clinical studies have confirmed that a new yogurt fights the bacteria that cause gastritis and stomach ulcers, caused by Helicobacter. Pylori. The new yogurt, out of Japan, is a unique approach to fighting ulcers, which affect 25 million people in the United States. Already on store shelves in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, it may soon arrive in the U.S. too.
So how does it work? Well we know that H. pylori or over-use of aspirin and or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, causes most stomach ulcers, and while the ulcers can be effectively treated and eliminated with antibiotics and acid suppressants, that simple regimen is unavailable to many in developing countries who are infected with H. pylori. In this new study, the researchers found that H. pylori seems to rely on a protein called unease to attach to and infect the stomach lining. So they used vaccine-making technology and injected chickens with unease then allowed the chickens' immune systems to produce the antibody, and harvested it from their eggs.
They then tested the theory on 42 people who tested positive for H. pylori, who volunteered to eat two cups daily of either plain yogurt or yogurt containing the antibody for four weeks. The results indicate that the suppression of H. pylori infection in humans could be achieved by drinking yogurt fortified with urease antibody, which was eventually destroyed by stomach acid, but not before its beneficial effect was made. Although the yogurt appears less effective than antibiotics for reducing levels of H. pylori, it is a lot easier to take than medicine and can be eaten daily as part of regular dietary routine.