Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2024

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be a debilitating condition. Symptoms in the condition’s different forms can include abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight loss among other stressful issues. However, new research on how to treat this condition is always coming out. 

A team from the University of Queensland has identified five strains of gut bacteria that fight IBD and can be the first step toward new treatments for the disease. 

The team was able to isolate bacteria found in a healthy gut and identified several species that produced anti-inflammatory benefits. 

“While the gut microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria that have co-evolved with humans over time, our lab tests identified five strains that we’re able to suppress inflammation in blood and tissue samples from IBD patients,” said Jake Begun, associate professor and group leader of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research Group at the University of Queensland. 

“Furthermore, one of these healthy gut bacterial strains produced anti-inflammatory substances that were able to reduce disease severity in a pre-clinical model by inhibiting one of the master molecular regulators of inflammation called NF-kB, without causing any side effects.”

The team identified bacteria that inhibited the pro-inflammatory enzyme NF-kB. These bacteria were able to suppress inflammation in the research animals without any side effects. This might lead to new treatments and possibly new medications for IBD. Patients are generally treated with medications that compromise one’s immune system slightly. Now, a few simple lifestyle changes might be a viable treatment for IBD. 

“Studies show that diets rich in fiber and low in refined sugar, ultra-processed food, and processed meat can reduce the risk of IBD and bowel cancer,” said Begun. 

“Early detection and treatment are associated with the best outcomes in colorectal cancer—so also be sure to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening program after age 50… Patients with a family history of bowel cancer, or who are at high risk of bowel cancer, should discuss screening with their general practitioner.”

Source Study: Cell ReportsSecreted NF-κB suppressive microbial metabolites modulate gut inflammation: Cell Reports

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