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A new yogurt, already on the shelves in some Asian countries, may offer a tasty new way to prevent and treat stomach ulcers by targeting bacteria that cause them.

Japanese researchers who developed the yogurt say that it fights bacteria that cause gastritis and stomach ulcers. They presented their findings of a clinical trial at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Salt Lake City.

Yogurt, a fermented milk product containing live bacteria, is already known to be healthy as it contains plenty of calcium, protein, and other nutrients. The new yogurt, besides being tasteful and healthy, it additionally prevents and eliminates the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers.

Most of the ulcers are caused by a bacterium called H. pylori or by overuse of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. H. pylori ulcers are treated with antibiotics and acid suppressants and researchers hope for the new yogurt to become another option.
H. pylori uses an enzyme called urease to attach to and infect the inside of the stomach. This yogurt in question contains an antibody called IgY-urease. It is marketed as Dr. Piro in Japan and as Gut in Korea. Researchers are hopeful that their clinical trial will pave the way for approval in the United States.

In their trial, the researchers tested whether ingesting an antibody to urease would help suppress infection from H. pylori. They recruited 42 people who tested positive for H. pylori. Some participants ate the yogurt with the antibody three times a day for four weeks while others ate the same amount of regular yogurt that didn't contain the antibody. H. pylori activity was significantly reduced in the antibody yogurt group.

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