A study investigating whether the urea breath test (UBT) could be used as a marker for burden of Helicobacter pylori infection and if administration of Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 in a chewable tablet could suppress the Helicobacter pylori level as assessed by the UBT value.
In the first study, gastric biopsies were obtained from 33 Helicobacter pylori- positive adults by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and the individual UBT values were established for each subject. It was shown that the individual UBT value increased significantly with the extent of the Helicobacter pylori density on the biopsies.
In the second part of the study, 40 subjects infected with Helicobacter pylori, but without symptoms, were enrolled. 35 had UBT values ≥ 15 ‰ and were randomly allocated to three groups: Group A ingested Lactobacillus reuteri for 4 weeks and placebo for another 4 weeks; group B received the two study products in the reverse order for 4 + 4 weeks; group C received only placebo for 8 weeks. Group D consisted of 5 Helicobacter pylori-negative subjects who ingested Lactobacillus reuteri only for 8 weeks.
Fig. 1 Helicobacter pylori bacterial load during oral supplementation with Lactobacillus reuteri in all Group A and B patients.
A significant decrease in UBT values was shown in groups A and B after ingesting Lactobacillus reuteri. Moreover, in group A the lower UBT value was maintained until the end of the full 8-week period. The overall rate of decrease in the UBT value due to ingestion of Lactobacillus reuteri tablets was 69.7 4.0% (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Administration of Lactobacillus reuteri significantly decreased UBT values in Helicobacter pylori-positive subjects, demonstrating that Lactobacillus reuteri suppressed Helicobacter pylori density.