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H- Pylori--- Could It Be The Answer To Colic?
Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) is a bacteria found in the stomach infecting about 50% of the population. Its consequences are far reaching, including hyperemesis Gravadirum in pregnancy. It is easiest to treated when women are not pregnant or breastfeeding, but if they do have it during pregnancy it may have significant consequences for their newborn babies, including colic.
H. pylori is transferred primarily through saliva and body fluids including feces. Another route of transmission of H. pylori is through the placenta from the pregnant mom to her baby.
In one study of maternal to infant transmission, of the women found to be positive for H. pylori using a breath test, 96.5% of their babies were also positive for H. pylori. When cord blood levels were used to test for H. pylori the results were positive in 100 % of the babies who their mother had H. pylori. That is a high transmission rate. (1)
Colic and H-pylori
H. pylori may be one a causative factor of Colic. Though the following is a small study it is quite compelling. A doctor in Saudi Arabia took 55 colicky babies between 2 weeks and 4 months and matched them by ethnicity, county of origin, sex, and age. All the babies met the criteria for colic of crying for at least 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for 3 or more weeks in a row. The result were that 45 of the 55 infants had H-pylori present in there stool. That is 82% an amazing correlation! Does this prove that colic is caused by H-pylori? No, but it is enough to consider H. pylori may be a causative factor and worth looking into. (2)
Good News About Transmission Rates
The good news is that the rate of these infants who were still positive with H-pylori at 3 months was extremely low. This could be because the babies were breastfed or it could be that the infection did not develop yet or did not show up in the test because it was still latent. One conclusion was that infants born to women positive for H. pylori do not appear to have an increased risk of developing a H. pylori-associated infection during the first year of life. So even through the transmission rate is high from moms who are positive for H-pylori it is uncertain if the infants stay positive for the infection. (1)
Good news for moms who breastfeed: babies that are breastfed for the first 6 months afterbirth have a decreased degree of H. pylori colonization, postpone infection until older, and have a shortened duration of symptoms. This could be because colostrum and breast milk, along with cow’s milk, have lactoferrin, which is a component of the immune system that has antimicrobial and antibacterial activity against H. pylori. Yet another reason to give your babies breast milk, even if you have to get it from someone else. (3)
Treatment of children and breastfeeding moms.
Please read my blog ManagingHyperemesis Gravidarum! Answers! for treating H. pylori in pregnancy, including diet suggestions. Infants, children and breastfeeding moms all have special considerations in treating H. pylori.
The absolute best treatment is breast milk exclusively to 6 month of age. If a women is not able to nurse herself or the baby is adopted or a foster child then it is possibly to get breast milk from another source. If you google breast milk for sale you will find several options. Do your research as to if it is a reputable source. It can get quite expensive. Another option is if you have friends or family that may have breast milk stored. This is nice because you know where it is from. Still another option is to contact local midwives who often know of women who have extra milk and would be willing to donate it or sell it for a lower price. Don’t give up using breast milk. It is like gold to the newborn.
I am cautious to recommending anything for children, so please take each of these individually for your child and situation.
Vitamin C has been shown to inhibit the growth of H. pylori. One study showed high doses of 5000mg a day of vitamin C treatment for 4 weeks eradicated it in 30% of those treated. It is not recommended to give high doses of synthetic vitamin C to children. (I don’t recommend taking synthetic vitamin C. There are a couple of exceptions for short periods of time.) Taking whole food sourced vitamin C is a different story. I recommend getting areola whole food vitamin C. This is a good kind: Natural Vitamin C Acerola Powder-100% Pure- Wildcrafted. As for dosage, vitamin C is water; soluble so if you get too much it will give you diarrhea but will not over dose. (There is some concern about excess vitamin C and kidney stones, but other natural sources say this is not accurate.) The following recommendations are based off of those from synthetic vitamin C from the Mayo Clinic. I think these are probably low for what our bodies need and what we can take without issue using whole food C. (4,5)
Children age 1-3, 400 mg a day
Children age 4-8, 650 mg a day
Children age 9-13 1,200 mg a day
For more information on Vitamin C I am a huge fan of Dr. Suzanne Humphries. http://drsuzanne.net/dr-suzanne-humphries-oral-intravenous-vitamin-c/
Lactoferrin is a component of the immune system found in colostrum, breast milk, and cow milk. It is antimicrobial and has antibacterial activity against H. pylori. One study showed bovine (cow) lactoferrin is effective in suppressing H. pylori colonization though not in eradicating it. The dosage used in the study was 200mg twice a day for twelve weeks. I like this brand Nurticology Lacotoferrin (6,7)
Sulforaphane is an anti-cancer compound in cruciferous vegetables. Studies have shown it to inhibit H. pylori, even antibiotic-resistant strains. It has potent antioxidant and possible anti-inflammatory actions. One of the best ways to get Sulforaphane is through broccoli sprouts. It can also be taken in capsule form. There is not a set dosage for children but cruciferous vegetables lightly steamed are a great food for kids. (8)
For older kids and breastfeeding moms.
All of the above treatments are great for older kids and breastfeeding moms. There is an herbal tincture that is supposed to be safe during breastfeeding and for children that can effectively treat H. pylori. It is Bio Botanicals Biocidin. It is a combination of herbs with antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. The list of herbs include bilberry extract (25% anthocyanosides), noni, milk thistle, echinacea (purpurea & angustifolia), goldenseal, shiitake, white willow (bark), garlic, grapeseed extract (min. 90% polyphenols), black walnut (hull and leaf), raspberry, fumitory, gentian, tea tree oil, galbanum oil, lavender oil (plant & flower), oregano oil (plant & flower).
A few of these herbs may affect your milk supply (black walnut and oregano oil) so if you have supply issues or notice your milk supply diminish when you start taking this discontinue it. This is fast becoming one of my favorite products to recommend to people with any kind of gut related issues. It is one of the gentlest most effective treatments that I have used. It is not recommend during pregnancy ever and should not be taken before a surgery because some of the herbs can thin blood.
Dosage to treat H. pylori and other bacterial and fungal infections--use for 40 days.
Children under 12: 1 drop for every 10 pounds of body weight per day, in divided doses*. Place drops in water. Take ½ hour before meals. Maintenance: ½ drop per 10 pounds per day may be used for long-term immune support.
*Divided doses: Divide the dose to twice a day.
Breastfeeding moms: 1-2 drops three times a day directly on the tongue or diluted in a ¼ cup of water or juice. Take ½ hour before meals. (9)
You can Purchase Biocidin Here.
1. Evolution of Helicobacter pylori positivity in infants born from positive mothers. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7965484
4. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) Dosing - Mayo Clinic. www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/vitamin-c/dosing/hrb-20060322
5.Jarosz M. 1998. Effects of high dose vitamin C treatment on Helicobacter pylori infection and total vitamin C concentration in gastric juice. Eur J Cancer Prev 7:449-454.
7. Imoto, I et al. Suppressive Effect of Bovine Lactoferrin against Helicobacter pylori. Helicobacter 2004 (A11.27); 9: 487-604.
9. Biocidin – Scientific Validation of Botanical Ingredients. http://prosupplements.nl/Profinfo/Biocidin-White-Paper.pdf
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