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All Boards >> Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research Library


Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7677
Loc: Seattle, WA
Biotic Therapy Cuts Inflammation in Ulcerative Colitis
      02/19/05 05:59 PM

Biotic Therapy Cuts Inflammation in Ulcerative Colitis

By David Douglas

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Feb 04 - Synbiotic therapy, involving prebiotic and probiotic agents, reduces chronic inflammation in patients with active ulcerative colitis, Scottish researchers report in the February issue of Gut.

As lead investigator Dr. Elizabeth Furrie told Reuters Health, "Feeding twice daily with the synbiotic therapy for one month induced highly significant reduction in the inflammatory state of the colon that translated to clinical improvement. This therapy has demonstrated no side effects and can be taken in conjunction with conventional treatment."

Dr. Furrie and colleagues at the University of Dundee note that the immune response to normal commensal microorganisms is believed to be associated with such inflammatory processes in ulcerative colitis.

To see whether modulation of gut flora might alter the disease process, the researchers combined the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum and a prebiotic, the enriched inulin mixture Synergy 1 to provide a growth substrate.

In total, 18 patients with active ulcerative colitis were randomized in a double-blind fashion to 4 weeks of synbiotic therapy or to placebo.

Over this period, sigmoidoscopy scores on a 7-point scale fell in the active treatment group from 4.5 to 3.1. In placebo patients, there was an increase from 2.6 to 3.2.

In addition, mRNA levels of human beta defensins 2, 3 and 4 -- which are strongly upregulated in those with the disease -- were significantly reduced. This was also true of the inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 1 alpha.

Biopsies also showed that the synbiotic group had reduced inflammation as well as regeneration of epithelial tissue.

Following these encouraging results, the researchers call for a large-scale trial to "investigate the long term effect of synbiotic use in inducing and maintaining remission in patients with active disease."

Gut 2005;54:242-249.

Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She’s the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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