- Bismuth-based therapy. Bismuth salts, originally believed to simply coat ulcers and physically block erosive stomach acid, now are known to directly attack and impair H. pylori.
- Digestive enzymes. Once irritation is resolved, hydrochloric acid (usually the supplement betaine hydrochloride) helps reestablish efficient acid production, which may have been interrupted by the infection but is necessary for normal digestion.
- Manuka honey. Evidence supporting the use of this New Zealand honey is largely anecdotal, but you may find that taking some before meals and before bed, helps combat H. pylori. Discuss with your doctor how much to take if you want to try this therapy.
- Mastic gum. This natural resin from the sap of the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), which grows mainly on the Greek island of Chios, inhibits H. pylori growth, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. Capsules can be found at iHerb.com and in health-food stores.
- Broccoli sprouts. A small Japanese trial suggests that broccoli sprouts activate protective enzymes. Unlike mature heads, the sprouts contain high levels of sulforaphane, a potent natural weapon against H. pylori colonization. These can be eaten in salads or on sandwiches as a way to help keep H. pylori in check. (See Daily Health News, September 3, 2009, for more on broccoli sprouts.)
- Bovine lactoferrin. Studies show that this protein from cows (consumed as a powder added to shakes and smoothies) improves the effectiveness of other therapies against H. pylori. It can be purchased at iHerb.com and in some health-food stores.
Andrew L. Rubman, ND, founder and director, Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines, Southbury, Connecticut. www.SouthburyClinic.com.