The Whats, Whys, and Wherefores of H. pylori
Q Why and how do we acquire the H. pylori bacterium, and why is it so hard to get rid of?
Rosamarie, Joshua Tree, CA
A The Helicobacter pylori bacterium is so common that up to 50% of the world’s population may be infected with it. Even so, some people are more sensitive than others to it; thus the symptoms vary greatly, as does the presence of diseases it can cause, such as peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.
H. pylori is infectious and can be easily transmitted by food, drinking water, and contact with other infected individuals (family-wide infections, including the children, are common). Reinfection is common even after treatment with antibiotics, so one must be aware of the possibility of harboring the bacteria, especially in the mouth.
Life Enhancement’s top-selling product Bye-Lori, containing mastic gum—a natural resin from the Pistacia lentiscus tree—does not work quite as rapidly as the triple drug therapy utilized by traditional medicine. However, most individuals get significant reduction of symptoms within one or two months, and it is easier to remain on a maintenance program to fend off their return. Full eradication of the bacteria may require continual use at 4–8 capsules daily for several months before scaling down to a recommended maintenance amount of 1–4 capsules to prevent reinfection.
Customer feedback indicates that some individuals find it necessary to take the product on a long-term basis to manage their symptoms effectively. There seems to be some variability in the degree of infection, and perhaps in the virulence of different strains of the bacterium. One advantage of using Bye-Lori over antibiotics is that it can be taken long-term without any concern about side effects.