The association between drinking alcoholic beverages and Helicobacter pylori infection is unclear, with previous mixed and inconclusive results.
Thus, a meta-analysis was conducted to summarise and clarify this association. A comprehensive quest of research databases identified studies investigating the association between drinking and H. pylori infection and the strength of this relationship was evaluated. 24 individual studies were included in the meta-analysis. The results of this meta-analysis suggested that the risk of H. pylori infection was significantly lower in drinkers of alcoholic beverages than non-drinkers, possibly because alcohol has an antibiotic-like, destructive effect on H. pylori. Wine drinkers or those who consumed mixed types of alcoholic beverages had a lower risk of infection compared with beer drinkers. According to the researchers, this could be explained by the combined effect of alcohol and resveratrol (which is present in red wine but not beer).
Overall, there seems to be an inverse association between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and H. pylori infection. However, the authors discourage reducing an H. pylori infection through drinking alcoholic beverages due to the potential increases in risk of other diseases.
 Helicobacter pylori is a type of bacteria which is usually found in the stomach. Infection with H. pylori is one of the world’s most common diseases and approximately two-thirds of the world’s population is affected with this bacteria in their body. For most people, it doesn’t cause ulcers or any other symptoms. However, after many years, it can cause chronic gastritis, gastric ulcers and for some people, such an infection can lead to stomach cancer.
Source: Du P, Zhang C, Wang A, Ma Z, Shen S, Li X. Association of Alcohol Drinking and Helicobacter pylori Infection: A Meta-analysis. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2021 Dec 15. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001638. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34907920.
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