The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 20 No. 2 • March 2017


PERSISTENT INFECTIONS CAN BE SILENT KILLERS: HELICOBACTER PYLORI

It is generally accepted that persistent infections (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitical, etc.) can have serious effects on health by inducing hyperactivation of the immune system, such as by increasing the release of inflammatory cytokines. One such persistent infection is Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), now well known for increasing the risk of ulcers and of gastrointestinal cancers (Herrera, 2009). The bacterium, believed to infect 40-50% of the world’s population, has been linked to many systemic diseases, including cardiovascular disease (Danesh, 1999) and cancer and some evidence suggests that it indirectly contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. (Malaguarnera, 2004). In fact, a recent paper reports that H. pylori triggers double-strand breaks in DNA, which is consistent with its carcinogenic properties (Toller, 2011).

PARKINSON’S DISEASE

A presentation at a scientific meeting by M. Niehues and A. Hensel was reported in the journal Planta Medica (Niehues and Hensel. In vitro interaction of L-Dopa with bacterial adhesins [responsible for the adhesion of the bacterium to gastric epithelial cells] of Helicobacter pylori: an explanation for clinical differences in bioavailability?” Planta Medica 75:877-1094 (2009). The researchers here reported the surprising effect of H. pylori on the availability of L-Dopa taken by Parkinson’s disease patients. The L-Dopa became attached to bacterial adhesins from the H. pylori, leaving less unbound L-Dopa for actually treating Parkinson’s. The authors of the presentation suggest that this mechanism may explain why Parkinson’s patients infected with H. pylori do less well on a similar amount of L-Dopa as patients who are not infected with H. pylori.

Thus, Parkinson’s disease patients might benefit by eliminating or reducing H. pylori present in their systems. A dietary supplement available for this purpose that is both safe and effective (as well as inexpensive) is mastic, the gum resin of the mastic tree, Pistacia lentiscus L. Sandy takes Life Enhancement’s Bye-Lori Plus,™* which contains mastic, because Durk was infected with H. pylori for decades before eradicating it with antibiotics and Sandy wants to make sure she didn’t “catch” it from him.


*This is an unsolicited plug.


HELICOBACTER PYLORI AND ARGININE

Pathogens such as Helicobacter pylori and Toxoplasma gondii defend themselves against their host’s immune system by producing arginases that limit nitric oxide (a powerful pathogen-killing substance) production by depleting L-arginine (Grohmann, 2010). Thus, increasing L-arginine might be another way to help eradicate Helicobacter pylori infections. We both take L-arginine (6-12 grams/day) in Inner Power Plus,™ available from Life ­Enhancement Products.

References

  • Danesh et al. Helicobacter pylori infection and early onset myocardial infarction: case-control and sibling pairs study. Br Med J. 319(30):1157-62 (1999).
  • Grohmann and Bronte. Control of immune response by amino acid metabolism. Immunol Rev. 236:243-64 (2010).
  • Herrera and Parsonett. Helicobacter pylori and gastric adenocarcinoma. Clin Microbiol Infect. 15(11):971-6 (2009).
  • Malaguarnera et al. Helicobacter pylori and Alzheimer’s disease: a possible link. Eur J Int Med. 15:381-6 (2004).
  • Toller et al. Carcinogenic bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori triggers DNA double-strand breaks and a DNA damage response in its host cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 108(36):14944-9 (2011).

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