Moderate alcohol consumption has been suggested to facilitate elimination of Helicobacter pylori infection.
Dr Rothenbacher and colleagues from Heidelberg, Germany designed a study in order to investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption and infection with H. pylori.
In particular, the researchers considered the role of age, different alcoholic beverages and specific drinking habits.
These issues were addressed in the German National Health Survey, conducted in a representative population sample between October 1997 and March 1999.
The research team collected data from 6545 subjects in total on the frequency and average amount of different alcoholic beverages consumed.
|Infection was highest among subjects who reported drinking no alcohol (49.3%)|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
The investigators measured Helicobacter pylori infection status using serum immunoglobulin G antibodies.
The researchers found that seroprevalence of the infection was highest among subjects who reported drinking no alcohol (49.3%) and lowest among subjects consuming 2550 g alcohol/day (35.2%).
The research team noted that this inverse association was consistently seen for different alcoholic beverages and in all age groups and it was particularly pronounced among women and among regular but moderate drinkers.
There was also an inverse dose response relationship between the frequency of alcohol consumption and H. pylori infection.
Dr Rothenbacher concluded, "This analysis supports suggestions that regular but moderate consumption of alcohol from various sources may facilitate elimination of H. pylori infection."