First For Women

Women over 50 4 times more likely to harbor H. pylori


A bacterial infection caused by H. pylori (Helicobact­er pylori) doubles women’s odds of suffering fatigue and other draining symptoms, say researcher­s in Scientific Reports. Spread by contact with infected individual­s, as well as contaminat­ed food and water, H. pylori infects at least 50% of women. “Inflammati­on produced by H. pylori damages the lining of the intestines, impairing nutrient absorption and allowing toxins to leak into other tissues,” explains Rosario Ligresti, M.D., chief of the gastroente­rology division at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. The result: fatigue, brain fog, bloat, stomach pain and more.

Complicati­ng matters: Immune system dips that occur over time make women over 50 more vulnerable to H. pylori. In fact, Norwegian research suggests that infection risk climbs by 375% between our 20s and our 50s.

Doctors can ID H. pylori with breath, blood and stool tests. And while “triple therapy,” which involves taking an acid-blocking drug and two antibiotic­s, is often advised, the steps below can eliminate H. pylori naturally.

Black cumin seed eradicates H. pylori as effectivel­y as antibiotic­s, per an Asian study. The seed and its oil are high in the antibacter­ial compound thymoquino­ne. Dr. Ligresti advises taking 1,000 mg. of a product containing 5% thymoquino­ne after meals twice a day (try Life Extension Black Cumin Seed Oil 500 mg., LifeExtens­ Bonus: In the study, the supplement also eased stomach pain and heartburn.

Also smart: Season foods with turmeric and garlic. Both contain compounds that thwart H. pylori growth and heal the gut lining. 2/6/23 First for women 33

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