Study: New yogurt fights gastritis, stomach ulcers with vaccine-like effects
SALT LAKE CITY Results of the first human clinical studies confirm that a new yogurt fights the bacteria that cause gastritis and stomach ulcers with what researchers describe as almost vaccine-like effects, scientists in Japan reported last week at the 237th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Researchers have long known that yogurt, a fermented milk product containing live bacteria, is a healthy source of calcium, protein and other nutrients. Some brands of yogurt are now made with probiotics — certain types of bacteria intended to improve health. The new yogurt could represent a unique approach to fighting stomach ulcers, which affect 25 million people in the United States, and is part of a growing “functional food” market that now generates $60 billion in sales annually.
“With this new yogurt, people can now enjoy the taste of yogurt while preventing or eliminating the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers,” stated study coordinator Hajime Hatta, a chemist at Kyoto Women’s University in Kyoto, Japan.
The new yogurt is already on store shelves in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The study opens the door to possible arrival of the product in the U.S., the researchers suggested.
A type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or over-use of aspirin and or other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, causes most stomach ulcers. H. pylori ulcers can be effectively treated and eliminated with antibiotics and acid suppressants. New research also links childhood H. pylori infection to malnutrition, growth impairment and other health problems.
In the new study, Hatta and colleagues pointed out that H. pylori relies on a protein called urease to attach to and infect the stomach lining. In an effort thwart that protein, or antigen, Hatta turned to classic vaccine-making technology. They injected chickens with urease and allowed the chickens’ immune systems to produce an antibody to the protein. The researchers then harvested the antibody, called IgY-urease, from chicken eggs. Hatta and colleagues theorized that yogurt containing the antibody may help prevent the bacteria from adhering to the stomach lining.
To test their theory, the scientists recruited 42 people who tested positive for H. pylori. The volunteers consumed two cups daily of either plain yogurt or yogurt containing the antibody for four weeks. Levels of urea, a byproduct of urease, decreased significantly in the antibody group when compared with the control group, indicating reduced bacterial activity, the researchers say.
“The results indicate that the suppression of H. pylori infection in humans could be achieved by drinking yogurt fortified with urease antibody,” Hatta stated. The antibody was eventually destroyed by stomach acid, but not before having its beneficial effect.
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, Hatta said. The antibody does not affect the yogurt’s overall taste and does not cause any apparent adverse side effects, he notes.
Study suggests soy intake can promote heart, bone health
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. New findings published in the April issue of the Journal of Nutrition suggest soy foods can play an important role in promoting heart and bone health.
“Each year, the amount of research conducted on the health effects of soy and soybean components continues to impress,” stated Mark Messina, author of the report and professor of nutrition at Loma Linda University. “The research presented on soy and heart and bone health showed strong rationale for people to include soy in their diets.”
According to a meta-analysis that was part of the review, soy in the diet netted a reduction in LDL cholesterol of approximately 5%, which is in line with other data. Over time, a 5% reduction in LDL cholesterol can reduce heart disease risk from 10 to 15%.
“Although modest compared to cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins, the cholesterol-lowering effects of soy protein are similar to those of soluble fiber and certainly relevant from a public health perspective,” stated Messina. “Integrating a variety of heart-healthy foods – like soy, beans, nuts and certain vegetables – together into a healthy lifestyle are really the best approach to heart health.”
Carex Health Brands launches two new commode liners
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. Carex Health Brands on Friday launched two new commode liners, assisted-living devices that help make the responsibilities of nursing homes and family caregivers that much more feasible.
The commode liners provide users and caregivers a convenient, highly-sanitized alternative to unhealthful and unpleasant commode bucket cleaning. The equipment is constructed with super absorbent powder that also reduces odor; holds up to two quarts of liquid; and features convenient tie handles for quick and easy disposal. Carex’ commode liners retail for a suggested $9.49.