A common gut bacterium (Helicobacter pylori) may protect women against MS, study finds - Medical News Today

For comparison, the authors looked at the presence of H. pylori antibodies among 299 age- and sex-matched healthy individuals without MS, drawn from the Busselton Community Health Study.

The results of the analysis revealed that women who did not have MS were significantly more likely to be infected with H. pylori than women with MS, suggesting the bacterium may have a protective effect against the condition.

This association, however, was not found in men. In fact, men infected with the bacterium were more likely to have MS.

Explaining the possible reasons behind the protective effect of H. pylori found in women, the researchers say the bacterium may move the immune system into a less inflammatory state, which may reduce its sensitivity and lower the risk of autoimmune disorders like MS.

The team, however, says they are unable to explain why H. pylori did not appear to protect men against MS, and that this is something that needs to be investigated in future research.

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