Helicobacter pylori isn’t Just About Ulcers Anymore

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a division of the National Institutes of Health estimates that 30 to 40 percent of Americans are infected by Helicobacter pylori at some point. This bacteria is one of prime causes of peptic ulcers, which according to the to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), affect at least six million people in the United States every year.

But this particular bacteria does more than just that. A cohort study of almost 70,000 people show that H. pylori may also predict a risk for type 2 diabetes and ultimately, metabolic syndrome as well. One of the best ways of preventing the damage of H. pylori and fighting it off if it does make an appearance is with deglycyrrhizinated licorice, commonly known as “DGL”. 

This form of licorice root has had glycyrrhizinic acid removed, so it poses no threat of boosting blood pressure levels, even at higher dosages. And, as it happens, there are low-dosage DGL supplement available in a capsule form that don’t need to be chewed, as earlier supplemental forms did. So if you don’t like the taste of licorice, no problem. You can fight H. pylori without worry.


Chen YY, Fang WH, Wang CC, et al. Helicobacter pylori infection increases risk of incident metabolic syndrome and diabetes: A cohort study. PLoS One. 2019 Feb 19;14(2):e0208913.

Emerging studies have shed light on the association between Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection and cardiometabolic risk. However, there is no evidence to support a causal link for the relationship in the general population. Our aim was to determine whether HP infection is associated with the risks of incident type II diabetes mellitus (DM) in a population-based cohort consisting of adults from the general population. A total of 69235 adults enrolled in the study obtained health examinations at the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taiwan from 2010 to 2016. HP infection detection was performed by rapid urease tests (RUTs), and endoscopic examinations were used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastric ulcers (GUs) and duodenal ulcers (DUs). Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were performed to examine the association between HP infection and cardiometabolic diseases using logistic regression and Cox regression in a large population-based study. HP infection was significantly associated with the presence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) (OR = 1.26, 95%CI: 1.00-1.57) and DM (OR = 1.59, 95%CI: 1.17-2.17) only in male subjects, and abnormal endoscopic findings were also correlated with cardiometabolic diseases. Our findings demonstrated that participants with HP infection had an elevated risk of developing incident DM (HR = 1.54, 95%CI: 1.11-2.13). In addition, endoscopic findings of a DU (HR = 1.63, 95%CI: 1.02-2.63), rather than GERD or a GU, were also predictive of incident DM. In this cohort, HP infection was a statistically significant predictor of incident DM among male population.