BURSA, Turkey—Probiotic-containing fermented milk, known as kefir, can help boost the effectiveness of triple therapy used to treat a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, according to a new study by researchers from Uludag University Medical School, Bursa. The results of the randomized, double blind study were published online ahead of print Dec. 27 in the Journal of Medical Food.
The study involved 82 consecutive patients with symptoms of dyspepsia and H. pylori infection confirmed via the urea breath test. Twice daily for 14 days patients were given triple therapy—lansoprazole (30 mg), amoxicillin (1,000 mg), and clarithromycin (500 mg) —with either 250 mL of kefir twice daily (n = 46) or 250 mL of milk containing placebo (n = 36). Side effects were determined using a standard questionnaire form at 15 days after the start of treatment; patients returned for urea breath tests 45 days after beginning treatment. Eradication of H. pylori bacteria was significantly higher in patients taking both triple therapy and kefir (78.2 percent), compared to those taking triple therapy and placebo (50.0 percent). Further, those in the kefir group also experienced significantly less severe and less frequent side effects than did those in the placebo group. The researchers concluded, “A 14-day regimen of triple therapy with kefir is more effective in achieving H. pylori eradication than is triple therapy alone.”