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. 2003 Oct;47(10):3240-6.
doi: 10.1128/aac.47.10.3240-3246.2003.

Essential Oils as Components of a Diet-Based Approach to Management of Helicobacter Infection

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Essential Oils as Components of a Diet-Based Approach to Management of Helicobacter Infection

G E Bergonzelli et al. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

An increased density of Helicobacter pylori in the gastric mucosa can be associated with more severe gastritis and an increased incidence of peptic ulcers. Therefore, people with asymptomatic gastritis would certainly benefit from a nutritional approach to help them manage the infection and therefore decrease the risk of development of associated pathologies. We analyzed the activities of 60 essential oils against H. pylori P1 and identified 30 oils that affected growth, with in vitro inhibition zones ranging between 0.7 and 6.3 cm in diameter. We further analyzed the effects of 16 oils with different activities on H. pylori P1 viability. Fifteen showed strong bactericidal activities, with minimal bactericidal concentrations after 24 h ranging from 0.02 to 0.1 g/liter at pH 7.4. Even though slight variations in activities were observed, the essential oils that displayed the strongest bactericidal potentials against H. pylori P1 were also active against other Helicobacter strains tested. Among the pure constituents of different essential oils tested, carvacrol, isoeugenol, nerol, citral, and sabinene exhibited the strongest anti-H. pylori activities. Although oral treatment of H. pylori SS1-infected mice with carrot seed oil did not result in significant decreases in the bacterial loads in the treated animals compared to those in the control animals, in all experiments performed, the infection was cleared in 20 to 30% of carrot seed oil-treated animals. Our results indicate that essential oils are unlikely to be efficient anti-Helicobacter agents in vivo. However, their effects may not be irrelevant if one plans to use them as food additives to complement present therapies.

Figures

FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.
Disk inhibition assay. Five microliters of 100 mg savory essential oil in 100% EtOH or PG per ml was loaded onto a sterile disk (diameter, 6 mm). The solvents alone were used as controls. Disks were transferred to plates freshly inoculated with H. pylori P1. Growth inhibition was measured and is expressed in centimeters.
FIG. 2.
FIG. 2.
Determination of MBCs after 1 and 24 h of incubation. Ten microliters of different dilutions of the essential oils were incubated for 1 h (A) and 24 h (B) with 107 H. pylori P1 cells/ml. Cell viability was assessed by plating and counting the number of CFU. The log CFU per milliliter was plotted as a function of the essential oil concentration (in grams per liter), and MBCs were determined. The results of one representative experiment are shown for each essential oil.
FIG. 3.
FIG. 3.
Influence of pH on the effect of carrot seed essential oil on H. pylori urease activity and viability. Ten microliters of different dilutions of the essential oil were incubated with 107 H. pylori P1 cells/ml at pH 7.4 (•) and at pH 4.0 in the absence (▵) and the presence (▪) of 10 mM urea. After 1 h of contact, cell viability was assessed by plating and counting the number of CFU. The MBC of the oil was determined at each pH. The results are expressed as means ± standard deviations (n = 3).
FIG. 4.
FIG. 4.
Treatment of H. pylori infection with carrot seed essential oil. Carrot seed essential oil was administrated for 14 days to mice inoculated with H. pylori SS1. After the mice were killed, the infection level was determined by counting the number of CFU in stomach homogenates. The results of two independent experiments with 10 mice per group are shown. Differences in infection levels between the control groups (not treated with essential oil [− EO]; open circles) and the treated groups (treated with essential oil [+ EO]; closed circles) were evaluated by the Mann-Whitney U test (P = 0.056). The dotted line indicates the limit of detection.

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