“Half of the world’s population is infected with H. pylori and most of the individuals are asymptomatically infected, according to several surveys,” said Victor Cardenas, M.D., Ph.D., lead investigator of the study and associate professor of epidemiology at The University of Texas School of Public Health El Paso Regional Campus, part of UTHealth.
“What we learned in this study is not only does H. pylori cause iron deficiency anemia and iron-deficiency, but that even among children who do not have these conditions, their levels of iron are lower than otherwise healthy children.” The research is published in the March issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.
Researchers investigated the link between H. pylori infection and iron levels in non-iron-deficient preschool and school age children in El Paso and found the infection causes a decrease in the levels of iron in children who do not have anemia or an iron deficiency. The bacterium H. pylori infects the lining of the stomach resulting in chronic swelling of tissue, a condition known as gastritis. H. pylori is also a major cause of peptic ulcer disease and the cause of most cancers of the stomach, according to the World Health Organization.
“Iron is an essential nutrient which supports several body functions and exists in small amounts in the body, but it is also required by bacteria such as H. pylori,” said Cardenas. “The infection decreases the body’s natural progression of making iron.” According to Cardenas, this is the first study conducted in the contiguous U.S. to examine the role of the infection on the levels of iron levels in asymptomatic children.
Over time markers of iron stored in the body increased in children no longer infected. However, children who remained infected lagged in levels of one marker, serum ferritin, at their six month follow-up. The protein serum ferritin measures the amount of iron stored in your body, according to the National Institute of Health.
“Previous research has shown that iron levels correlate with several body functions including brain activity and have well documented long-term health consequences such as increased morbidity and mortality and loss of productivity,” said Cardenas. “There is a need to research the long-term consequences of asymptomatic H. pylori infections in those without an iron deficiency because the effect we found could be present among those with normal iron levels.”
Cardenas and his team used a previously tested therapy, which consisted of one antacid plus one antibiotic for five days, followed by the antacid plus two antibiotics for another five days. While previous studies resulted in high rates of success in eradicating H. pylori, only half of the children given the active medications in Cardenas’ study had their infection eradicated, a disappointing result, he said.
Cardenas questions whether asymptomatic H. pylori infections have any significant health consequences. “We want to further investigate if there is a relation between variations of the bacteria strains and iron in adults,” said Cardenas.
Members of the research team led by Cardenas included investigators from Baylor College of Medicine, The University of North Texas, The University of Texas at El Paso and Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. The research was funded by the Thrasher Research Fund.Jade Waddy
Jade Waddy | EurekAlert!
Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences