Effect of adequate alcohol intake, with or without cigarette smoking, on the risk of Helicobacter pylori infection.Hepatogastroenterology 1998 Sep-Oct; 45(23):1892-5H
Chronic adequate alcohol intake induces an "adaptive cytoprotection", mediated by endogenous release of prostaglandins and increased activity of gastric antioxidants, that reduces the mucosal damage caused by higher ethanol concentrations. The aim of our study was to verify the presence of a protection against Helicobacter pylori infection, induced by adequate alcohol consumption, with or without cigarette smoking.
We studied 303 consecutive dyspeptic patients, who underwent gastroscopy for the first time. The patients were allocated to four groups: A) 57 with adequate alcohol consumption; B) 88 smokers pts; C) 64 smokers pts with adequate alcohol consumption; D) 93 non-smokers and teetotalers.
H. pylori infection was found in 32 pts of group A (56.14%), 67 of group B (77.13%), 46 of group C (71.87%) and 61 of group D (65.69%). There was a statistical significant difference in H. pylori-positivity only between group A and group B (p=0.019).
Even if we noted a statistical difference only between group A and B, however the lower prevalence of H. pylori infection in group A than in other groups suggests a protective mechanism of adequate alcohol consumption, mediated by "adaptive cytoprotection", which reduces the risk of H. pylori infection.