Heliobactor Pylori – Beneficial as Well as Pathogenic

In my recent lecture swing around the U.S., I mention that H pylori, a common bacteria which has been implicated in stomach ulcers and cancer, may have a number of beneficial relationships to the human body. Another one has just been found that is a bit surprising.

According to a study led by Dr. Martin Blase of NY University School of Medicine, children who had H pylori in their stomachs, were 53% less likely to have asthma than those without the bug. Turns out, the overuse of anitbiotics may be killing the bacteria which our bodies may use as a primer for our immune systems early on in life.

My theorm is that many of these so-called pathogenic bacteria, may in fact be an intricate part of what makes us humans and that instead of killing them all, we need to control their overgrowth but allow some amount of them to help us control our health. The newest field of endeavor that has this belief is part of the Microbiome Project where researchers are looking into the symbiotic relationship between parasites, bacteria and viruses and human evolution and health. Turns out we are more than just a single entity but a conglomoration of many organisms working together. The research was published recently in Nature magazine.