If you don’t suffer from salt sensitive hypertension then salt might not be a direct enemy of your heart but it could be causing your stomach a little anxiety.
Helicobacter pylori is one of those bacteria that is often a resident of the stomach and small intestine. The older you are, the more likely you are to have at least met the little guy. Approx 50 % of people over 60 are “infected” with HP.
HP is a pretty special bug because thriving in an environment with a pH of 2 is pretty tough.
In some people, it can become a little militant causing ulcers.
Not all ulcers are caused by HP but most are….
HP is implicated in
- 90 % of duodenal ulcers and
- 80 % of gastric ulcers
In addition to causing serious BURNING it seems to also play a role in gastric cancer.
What turns HP into a burner
HP is not rare.
So the question has often been, what is it about “some” people that causes the problem ?
Since ulcer’s often strike people with a nervous disposition – many people associate “worry” with ulcers…………….
But studying patterns of disease, ulcer’s seem to also have a tendency to strike the salt lover.
Salt is a preservative
One of the BIG reasons to add salt to food (besides it tastes good), is that it acts as a preservative – think biltong and brine.
The reason salt is such an effective preservative is because when the salt concentration climbs the amount of water available for the bug decreases. Water is critical for survival, so little water typically means no bugs.
Dipping bacteria into a salty environment should cause them to stop growing.
HP is not exceptional at all, high salt causes a decline in growth but HP has a bit of a sting in its tail.
When H.pylori finds itself in an environment with a lot of salt – it goes into panic mode and a genetic “switch” flips to turn HP into a “psychotic” burner.
The salt causes the neighbourhood to become inhospitable, the bacteria tries desperately to adapt. The first thing observed is that the bacteria changes its shape. It loses its “curl” going from being spiral in shape to elongated.
The bacteria starts to produce new chemicals which give it extra “power”. The peaceful creature is replaced with an organism that starts to “breath” fire and brimstone, triggering ulcers.
Tame the burn
So one way to “tame” the HP burn would be to cut back on the salt.
You didn’t need to read a scientific blog to figure this out - when you develop an ulcer, to “survive” you swap to bland foods. The good news is a lot of the time, minor adjustments in lifestyle cause HP to switch back to its usual curly easy going self.
If you do need medical help with an ulcer – make sure you are prescribed an antibiotic to kill the psychotic burner. Medications that fiddle with acid levels typically mask the symptoms instead of dealing with the cause. Acid medications often mean the problem comes back as soon as you stop the meds.
|Tame the pylori burn with a probiotic fire-fighter||Sausages beat up your heart but steak is heart neutral||Mother nature can handle salt|
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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below…..