A gut bacteria responsible for most stomach ulcers may also help prevent obesity, a new study claims.
The germ Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most stomach ulcers, but new research suggests that treating the bacteria is linked to weight gain.
It is estimated that 50 per cent of the global population may be infected with H pylori; however, only 20 per cent of infected people experience symptoms.
New evidence suggests that patients treated for the infection developed significant weight gain compared to subjects with untreated H pylori colonisation.
By reviewing data taken from forty-nine studies with data from ten European countries, Japan, the US and Australia, Professor Gerald Holtmann from the University of Queensland identified a correlation between prevalence rates for H pylori and obesity.
"The rate of obesity and overweight were inversely and significantly correlated with the prevalence of H pylori infection," said Holtmann.
"The gradual decrease of the H pylori colonisation observed in recent decades could be causally related to the obesity endemic observed in the Western world," Holtmann said.
The study was published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.