People who have the ulcer-inducing microbe, H. pylori, may be protected against intestinal infections. While 50% of us harbor this microbe, only a few of us develop problems from it. It has also been shown to protect against the development of asthma. A study published in the December 2011 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases reported that soldiers infected with H pylori had a 60% lower susceptibility of getting sick from an intestinal disease caused by Shigella that was going around the base.
It is clear that we do not understand why this microbe has so many seemingly contradictory actions in the GI tract. It should remind us that fighting a war against a microbe with antibiotics is a dangerous approach when compared to supporting the health of the GI tract with probiotics and nutrients that strengthen the immunity of the gut.