Are you one of 125 million Americans infected with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)? Hail Merry Chief Nutrition Officer, Claudia Pillow, PhD., discusses ulcers and why doctors and researchers recommend coconut oil and other foods to help alleviate this condition. Read more about it and check out the Raw Heal Thy Ulcer Broccoli Tomato Salad recipe below.
Are you one of 125 million Americans infected with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)?
These “bad” bacteria are the major cause of peptic ulcers affecting 30 million Americans at some point in their lives. H. pylori stimulates cells in the stomach to produce excessive amounts of gastric or hydrochloric acid. This acid reflects back and up into the stomach causing heartburn or, technically, Gastro-Esophogeal Reflux /Disease, commonly referred to as GERD. This reflux is painful and can cause ulcers.
A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of the stomach or duodenum, the beginning of the small intestine. Peptic ulcers are common: more than 6 million adult Americans have active ulcers and a half million new cases develop yearly. Contrary to popular belief, peptic ulcers are not caused by stress or eating spicy food, but both can make ulcer symptoms worse. H. pylori are responsible for 90% of all peptic ulcers. Other factors that trigger ulcers include nonsteriodial anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, and milk allergies.
Researchers are not certain how H. pylori are transmitted, although they think they may be spread through contaminated food, water and saliva of infected people. Triple therapy antibiotics that are typically used to treat H pylori are declining in effectiveness because the bacteria are becoming resistant to the antibiotics. In addition, the medications used in triple therapy may also lead to yeast and fungal overgrowth, particularly with the Candida organism, because the good bacteria in your gut also get killed along with the bad bacteria.
Many people are turning to alternative therapies that have been shown to be effective in healing ulcers by killing the H. pylori. One such anti-microbial agent is coconut oil because it contains lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid which kills the bacteria by breaking down the H. pylori cell membrane. On a recent episode, Dr. Oz recommended a tablespoon of coconut oil a day because lauric acid is powerful natural antibiotic. The Lauric Acid invades the H. pylori lipid cell wall and destroys it.
Researchers in a recent Japanese study concluded that broccoli is also an effective natural remedy to treat ulcers. Broccoli contains the anti-microbial, sulforphane, which was found to reduce the colonies of H. pylori bacteria in test subjects.
The potential use of plants in their natural form for treating and preventing ulcers is underutilized in this country. Unlike synthetic drugs, most plant therapies, like the use of coconut oil, do not have undesirable side effects. Coconut oil is nature’s own anti-microbial weapon and as a food has stood the test of time. Maybe one day your doctor will hand you a prescription for a broccoli salad made with coconut oil.
“HEAL THY ULCER” Broccoli Tomato Salad
- 2 cups shredded organic broccoli
- 1 cup diced organic tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon organic raw coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
- 2 tablespoons Hail Merry Sunflower Seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all the ingredients, toss and season to taste.
Trade up to higher health and EAT MORE PLANTS.