Hunger Increases After Successful Ulcer Bacteria Eradication

Dec 07, 2004

H Pylori is a bacteria that causes over 90% of all duodenal ulcers (the first part of the small intestine), and up to 80% of stomach (gastric) ulcers. It also causes gastric cancer and lymphomas of the digestive tract. If you successfully treat an ulcer caused by H Pylori but you do not eradicate the bacteria, the ulcer will usually recur. The bacteria is treated with various antibiotics.

Many people who successfully treat H Pylori gain weight. Now we know why. Ghrelin is a hormone released by the tissues of the tomach. Ghrelin is a powerful appetite stimulant, and increased levels make you feel hungry. Studies have shown that obese people release exagerated amounts of Ghrelin.

In this study 61 patients infected with H Pylori had their stomach tissue compared to 22 healthy adults. It was found that patients infected with H Pylori had fewer Ghrelin-producing cells. After treatment, 50 of the 61 patients had successful eradication of the bacteria. The researchers saw a significant increase in the number of Ghrelin-producing cells in the 50 sucessfully treated patients but not in the 11 patients who did not successfully respond to H Pylori treatment. Increased release of Ghrelin leads to a bigger appetite and weight gain. The study is published in the November 2004 issue of the American Journal of Gastroenteroloy.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Recent research has shown that supplementation with soy isoflavones deeases the release of Ghrelin. It should be useful to supplement with both soy isoflavones and Hoodia ghordonii cactus after eradicating H Pylori for better appetite contol.

British Regulatory Agency Issues Warning on Antidepressants

The British agency which reviews drug safety issued a new warning on an SSRI related drug known as Effexor in the USA and used for depression. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says there should be stronger warnings about withdrawal reactions to this drug. New guidelines say the drug should only be prescribed by highly specialized physicians and that people with heart disease shouldn't use it at all. Effexor is involved with a higher rate of deaths from overdose than SSRIs, and that it may affect heart function. The British health authorities are urging doctors to use this drug and SSRI drugs sparingly, and only after first considering non-drug alternatives. Also, the lowest possible effective dose should be used. No antidepressant is recommended for the initial treatment of mild depression.

This comes after a major study from the Netherlands last week found that the SSRI family of drugs increases the risk of abnormal bleeding (Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.).

The British version of Paxil (Seroxat) has been banned in children in the UK because of an increased risk of suicide.