Obesity may be due to many reasons. Some people are obese from childhood while others gain weight over time. There are still others who gain weight at a rapid rate over a relatively shorter time period. If you fall into this category, then it is time to look at your medical history and check whether you had been treated for Helicobacter pylori or H.pylori recently.
H.pylori is one of the most common bacteria that affect the stomach and is a major cause of stomach ulcers. Current estimates show that up to 50% of the global population may be infected by H.pylori of which only about 20% experience symptoms.
According to a new study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, patients treated for H.pylori colonisation develop significant weight gain compared to the others. This research was conducted since there is an ongoing debate regarding the effects of the bacterium on BMI of patients. The study indicated that the subjects who had untreated H.pylori colonisation did not report any weight gain.
The researchers assessed obesity in developed countries in relation to H.pylori colonisation. The elaborate study involved identifying 49 existing studies with data from 10 European countries in addition to Japan, USA and Australia. The data analysis revealed that the mean H.pylori colonisation rate was 44.1% and the mean rate of obesity and being overweight were 46.6% and 14.2% respectively.
Professor Gerald Holtmann, the lead author of the study is the Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, Australia. He is also the Associate Dean Clinical at the University of Queensland. According to him, the rate of obesity and overweight were significantly and inversely correlated with incidence of H.pylori infection. There is a gradual decrease in H.pylori colonisation that is observed in recent decades and in his opinion, this could be related to the obesity endemic in the western world.