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Can H pylori Infection cause Osteoporosis?

Interesting new findings…

Osteoporosis is characterized by reductions in bone density, leading to fractures in vulnerable areas such as the wrists and hips, in addition to degradation of vertebrae. As such it is a serious problem. Theoretically, there are several reasons why H pylori infection could contribute to osteoporosis in some people.

  • H pylori can cause stomach acid levels to decrease over time, leading to poor absorption of calcium and other minerals (this is shown in several studies and discussed in my book, The Hompes Method).
  • Inflammation caused by H pylori infections can stimulate the breakdown of bone by increasing hormones such as cortisol.
  • As cortisol increases due to H pylori-induced inflammation, there is a concomitant reduction in bone-building hormones such as progesterone and testosterone.

A recent study conducted by researchers in Siena, Italy, reported on the influence of H pylori infection on the bone mineral density and bone markers in a large population cohort.

To conduct their study, the researchers took 1118 individuals and examined them for H pylori infection. In people with H pylori, they then checked for CagA status (CagA H pylori is a virulent strain, associated with cancer and heart disease).

The study revealed no difference between the infection rates of H pylori in people with osteoporosis compared with those who had normal bone density.

However, the prevalence of CagA+ H pylori infection in osteoporotic and osteopenic patients was significantly higher than that in subjects with normal BMD. The anti-CagA antibody titer was significantly and negatively associated with BMD at different sites in males as well as in females. Above the median anti-CagA antibody level, only 14% of males and 30% of females had normal bone mineral density.

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The researchers concluded their findings with the following statement:

CagA+ H pylori infection may be considered a risk factor for osteoporosis and fractures in males as well as in females

Reference

N. Figura et al. H. pylori (HP) infection and osteoporosis: a population based study. European Helicobacter Study Group. XXIII International Workshop on Helicobacter and Related Bacteria in Chronic Digestive Inflammation and Gastric Cancer. Rotterdam, September 16–18, 2010. P.334-5.

Dave Hompes’ Comments

Osteoporosis is becoming a big problem and there is little doubt in my mind that H pylori can contribute to the development of this disease. H pylori infection prevents proper stomach acid production by damaging the stomach’s parietal cells (cells that make the acid). Over time, atrophic gastritis can develop, a condition that is common in people aged 55 and over.

If stomach acid is too low, minerals and amino acids – both of which are needed for proper bone formation – are not digested properly and cannot be absorbed effectively.

However, as I point out in The Hompes Method, in the majority of cases, it’s not H pylori that’s to blame for complex diseases like osteoporosis: it’s diet and lifestyle.

Nutrients, including vitamins D and K, are also very low in a substantial proportion of the population. Vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption and plays a vital role in bone health. Vitamin K is needed to ensure the calcium is transported to, and “dropped off” at, the right places once it’s in the bloodstream.

Gluten intolerance & celiac disease, food allergies and other chronic infections can also compromise gut function. Poor food choices via diets rich in processed food and low in high quality nutrients also cause deterioration of bone health.

Anything that compromises the gut’s ability to process food can lead to problems in musculoskeletal health but the medical system chooses to overlook this and prescribe drugs in a vain attempt to rebuild bone.

If you have problems with bone health, it is absolutely critical to ensure that you optimize gut function, nutrient intake and hormonal balance. Taking drugs like Reclast, Fosamax, Zometa and Boniva does not address the root cause of bone disease.

Recommendations That May Help You Overcome H Pylori & Its Symptoms

  • If you have Helicobacter pylori and want to learn more about it without staring at a computer screen for hours on end, all the information on this website, as well as detailed diet and supplement program for healing your digestive system can be found in my book, The H Pylori Diet.
  • If you have osteoporosis, get a complete blood count from your doctor and have it interpreted by a nutritional therapist qualified to read the test**
  • Get your vitamin D and vitamin K levels checked**
  • Optimize diet, digestion and mineral consumption*
  • Remove bad bugs from your diet**
  • Check adrenal, thyroid and sex hormone levels – these are critical in bone health**

**We are able to run and interpret these tests for you.

If you would like one-to-one, discreet, personalized support from one of the Hompes Method team, please click here. Ever since I was diagnosed with H pylori in 2007 – having eradicated it using diet changes, herbs and nutritional supplements – it has been my mission to help people like you around the world understand and overcome health challenges using an integrated health approach. Where possible we work closely with the medical profession to combine the best of conventional medicine with our cutting edge clinical nutrition and functional medicine techniques. It is our hope that we can help you achieve your health related goals.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by using the web-form, below.

In love and light,

Dave Hompes & The Hompes Method team

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