Helicobacter pylori is infecting about half the people you meet each day…
The presence of this critter is associated with stomach pain, heartburn, ulcers, and even cancer. Conventional treatment for this malady enjoys about a 70% success rate and involves combinations of strong drugs with adverse side effects.
Challenges associated with conventional treatment of H. pylori:
- Patient compliance due to adverse reactions and duration of treatment
- Development of resistance to available antibiotics
- Indicated antibiotics too expensive or unavailable world-wide
- Allergy to the available antibiotics
Fatty Acids -An Introduction
A neglected approach in managing H. pylori appears to be the use of fatty acids and monoglycerides.
Fatty acids are chains of carbon atoms with a terminal carboxyl group. They vary in length and degree of double bonds along the chain. Fatty acids with no double bonds in their chain of carbons are considered to be “saturated.” Those with one double bond are called “monounsaturated“, while those with multiple bonds are “polyunsaturated.” Digestion of fats in humans generally involves emulsification of fat by bile from the gall bladder, then the splitting of fatty acids from glycerol by pancreatic enzymes. This happens in the small intestine, where the fatty acids are then absorbed. In the cells of the small intestine, fatty acids are reassembled into glyceride packages and hit the blood stream so they can fuel individual cells throughout the body. Fatty acids are essential for storing fuel for energy and maintaining the integrity of our cells. When we consume dietary fat, we are eating fatty acids packaged together into compounds like mono and triglycerides. These packages consist of one to three fatty acids connected to a glycerol molecule.
Lauric Acid is an Effective Agent in the Management of H. pylori
Plenty of studies exist substantiating the bactericidal properties of select fatty acids against a wide range of bacteria. One of the most effective fatty acids for combating H. pylori is lauric acid (C12:0). Lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid found predominately in the oil of coconuts. Virgin coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid.
Coconut Oil is High in Lauric Acid
For now I’ll fight the desire to go off into a tirade about how coconut oil was demonized back in the 1950′s due to its substantial content of saturated fatty acids. Of course, these fatty acids are mostly of the medium chain variety which are completely metabolized and may actually lower blood lipids like cholesterol. And what was the American answer to coconut oil? Yep -hydrogenated oils -trans fats!
NEXT: How fatty acids like lauric acid and the derivative monolaurin attack bacteria like H. pylori…