The innate immune response is a critical hallmark of Helicobacter pylori infection. Epithelial and myeloid cells produce effectors, including the chemokine CXCL8, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and nitric oxide (NO), in response to bacterial components. Mechanistic and epidemiologic studies have emphasized that dysregulated and persistent release of these products leads to the development of chronic inflammation and to the molecular and cellular events related to carcinogenesis. Moreover, investigations in H. pylori-infected patients about polymorphisms of the genes encoding CXCL8 and inducible NO synthase, and epigenetic control of the ROS-producing enzyme spermine oxidase, have further proven that overproduction of these molecules impacts the severity of gastric diseases. Lastly, the critical effect of the crosstalk between the human host and the infecting bacterium in determining the severity of H. pylori-related diseases has been supported by phylogenetic analysis of the human population and their H. pylori isolates in geographic areas with varying clinical and pathologic outcomes of the infection.