New Yogurt Fights Stomach Ulcers

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March 22, 2009 — A new yogurt, already on the shelves in some Asiancountries, may offer a tasty new way to prevent and treat stomach ulcers.

Japanese researchers say the yogurt they developed fights bacteria thatcause gastritis and stomach ulcers. Researchers presented the findings of aclinical trial at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in SaltLake City.

Yogurt, a fermented milk product containing live bacteria, is already knownas a healthy food, with plenty of calcium, protein, and other nutrients.

“With this new yogurt, people can now enjoy the taste of yogurt whilepreventing or eliminating the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers,” studycoordinator Hajime Hatta, a chemist at Kyoto Women’s University in Kyoto,Japan, says in a written statement.

Many ulcers are caused by a bacterium called H. pylori or by overuseof aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. H. pyloriulcers can be treated with antibiotics and acid suppressants. Researchers thinktheir yogurt may be another option.

H. pylori uses an enzyme called urease to attach to and infect theinside of the stomach. This latest yogurt, designed to fight stomach ulcers,contains an antibody called IgY-urease. The yogurt is marketed as Dr. Piro inJapan and as Gut in Korea. Researchers are hopeful that their clinical trialwill pave the way for approval in the United States.

The researchers tested whether ingesting an antibody to urease would helpsuppress infection from H. pylori.

For the trial, scientists recruited 42 people who tested positive for H.pylori. Some participants ate the yogurt with the antibody three times aday for four weeks. Some participants ate the same amount of regular yogurtthat didn’t contain the antibody. H. pylori activity was significantlyreduced in the antibody yogurt group.

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