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Helicobacter. 2007 Nov;12 Suppl 2:59-63.

Role of probiotics in patients with Helicobacter pylori infection.

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Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Rome, Italy.


Probiotics are defined as live, nonpathogenic microbial feeds or food supplements that exert a positive influence on their host by altering his microbial balance. As shown in several studies, probiotics also possess a direct antimicrobial effect; for this reason, several authors have tested a possible application in patients with Helicobacter pylori infection. In particular, probiotics may compete directly with H. pylori, possibly through the inhibition of adherence, as well as produce metabolites and antimicrobial molecules, properties supported only by animal or in vitro data. Moreover, implementation of standard anti-H. pylori regimens with probiotics can also improve patients' compliance to therapy, reducing the occurrence of antibiotic-related adverse events. The same effect was also reported after using a combination of two different prebiotics such as butyric acid and inulin in patients who underwent H. pylori eradication treatment. Based on current data, even though an effect against H. pylori has been described, probiotics cannot be considered as an alternative to standard anti-H. pylori treatment. Nevertheless, their use in association with standard anti-H. pylori treatment may be advisable, as they are able to improve patient compliance by reducing antibiotic-related adverse events, thus increasing the number of patients completing the eradication therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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