The team evaluated whether supplementation with an inactivated preparation of Lactobacillus acidophilus could improve the efficacy of a standard anti-Helicobacter pylori therapy. They reported their findings in the December issue of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
One hundred and twenty H. pylori-positive patients were randomly assigned to a 7-day triple-therapy program. Sixty patients received rabeprazole (20 mg b.d.), clarithromycin (250 mg t.d.s.) and amoxicillin (500 mg t.d.s.). This was called the RCA group.
The other sixty received the same regimen supplemented with a lyophilized and inactivated culture of Lactobacillus acidophilus (t.d.s.), and was called the RCAL group.
The team found that in the RCA group, eradication was successful in 72 per cent from a per protocol (PP) analysis, or 70 per cent using an intention-to treat (ITT) analysis.
H. pylori eradication rates:
Without L. acidophilus 70-72%
With L. acidophilus 87-88%
In the RCAL group a significant increase in the eradication rate was observed: 88 per cent from PP analysis, and 87 per cent from ITT analysis.
Dr Antonio Gasbarrini concluded on behalf of the group, "These results seem to confirm the in vitro anti-H. pylori effect of L. acidophilus, suggesting that the inactivated L. acidophilus could be effective in increasing eradication rates of a standard anti-H. pylori therapy."