Does your stomach bacteria protect you from obesity?

June 2, 2014

The germ Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most stomach ulcers, but new research in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics suggests that treating the bacteria is linked to weight gain.

It is estimated that 50% of the global population may be infected with H. pylori; however, only 20% of infected people experience symptoms. New evidence suggests that patients treated for the infection developed significant compared to subjects with untreated H. pylori colonization.

By reviewing data taken from forty-nine studies with data from ten European countries, Japan, the U.S. and Australia, Professor Gerald Holtmann identified a correlation between prevalence rates for H. pylori and obesity.

"The rate of obesity and overweight were inversely and significantly correlated with the prevalence of H. pylori infection," said Professor Holtmann. "The gradual decrease of the H. pylori colonisation observed in recent decades could be causally related to the obesity endemic observed in the Western world".

Explore further: The pros and cons of Helicobacter pylori

More information: N. Lender, N. J. Talley, P. Enck, S. Haag, S. Zipfel, M. Morrison, G. J. Holtmann, "Review article: associations between Helicobacter pylori and obesity - an ecological study," Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, DOI: 10.1111/apt.12790

Related Stories

The pros and cons of Helicobacter pylori

December 27, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- The debate over the bacteria Helicobacter pylori continues as a new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases shows that people carrying H. pylori have a reduced risk of diarrhea from other bacterial ...

Recommended for you

A metabolic master switch underlying human obesity

August 19, 2015

Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Affecting more than 500 million people worldwide, obesity costs at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone, and contributes to potentially ...

Scientists probe obesity's ties to breast cancer risk

August 20, 2015

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for breast cancer, but researchers haven't figured out what connects the two. A new study suggests the link may be due to a change in breast tissue structure, which might promote breast ...

Can a new drug brown the fat and trim the obese person?

May 28, 2015

New research has found that a variant of a drug used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension prompts weight loss in obese mice. Among mice fed a high-fat diet, those who did not get the medication became obese while medicated ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.