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1: Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;22(5):463-71. Related Articles, Links
Intestinal anti-inflammatory activity of dietary fiber (Plantago ovata seeds) in HLA-B27 transgenic rats.Rodriguez-Cabezas ME, Galvez J, Camuesco D, Lorente MD, Concha A, Martinez-Augustin O, Redondo L, Zarzuelo A.Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Spain.BACKGROUND & AIMS: Dietary fiber has been proven to be beneficial in maintaining remission in human ulcerative colitis, an effect related with an increased luminal production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). The aim of the present study was to further investigate the mechanisms involved in the intestinal anti-inflammatory effects of dietary fiber in an experimental model of rat colitis. METHODS: HLA-B27 transgenic rats (8-10 weeks old) were fed a fiber-supplemented diet (5% Plantago ovata seeds) for 13 weeks before evaluation of the colonic inflammatory status, both histologically and biochemically. The luminal colonic production of SCFA was quantified. In vitro studies were also performed to test the interaction between two SCFA (butyrate and propionate) as inhibitors of cytokine production in THP-1 cells. RESULTS: Dietary fiber supplementation ameliorated the development of colonic inflammation in transgenic rats as evidenced by an improvement of intestinal cytoarchitecture. This effect was associated with a decrease in some of the pro-inflammatory mediators involved in the inflammatory process: nitric oxide, leukotriene B(4), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha). The intestinal contents from fiber-treated colitic rats showed a significant higher production of SCFA, butyrate and propionate, than non-treated colitic animals. In vitro studies revealed a synergistic inhibitory effect of butyrate and propionate on TNFalpha production. CONCLUSIONS: Dietary fiber supplementation ameliorated colonic damage in HLA-B27 transgenic rats. This effects was associated with an increased production of SCFA, which can act synergistically in inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory mediators.PMID: 14512034 [PubMed - in process] Show:
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Probiotics show promise in treating colitis
CTV.ca News Staff
A new Canadian study has found that simple "probiotic" bacteria are effective in treating ulcerative colitis, a painful disease caused by an immune system attack on the body's intestinal tissue and colon.
Researchers at the University of Alberta found six weeks of treatment with pills containing so-called "good" bacteria, or probiotics, can turn the inflamed and bleeding colons of many patients with ulcerative colitis into virtually normal tissue.
Probiotics are not new but their healing powers are just starting to be investigated by the medical community. They are the easily obtained bacteria that turn milk into yogurt and are thought to restore intestinal bacteria balance.
Patients with colitis often have an overgrowth of "bad" bacteria and not enough of the "good" ones. They experience abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea from inflammation and ulcers in the large bowel. The cause of the illness is unknown though genetic susceptibility is thought to play a role.
Researchers tested whether heavy doses of probiotics could help combat the overgrowth of "bad" bacteria in colitis sufferers and help them to heal.
They tested 34 patients with mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis who were not responding to conventional therapy. The patients were treated with VSL, a probiotic mixture containing 450 billion live probiotic bacteria made up of eight lactic acid bacterial species.
Colitis sufferer Joanne Kosowan was diagnosed with the disease 22 years ago. "I was in considerable pain with a lot of bloating, severe cramping and bleeding," she told CTV News. "Yet within a week of being on the probiotics as part of the University of Alberta test I felt better."
The study found that the medication brought about a demonstrated remission in 53 per cent of the study group (18 patients), and a favourable response in another 24 per cent (8 patients). There was no response in 9 per cent of patients and a worsening of symptoms in 9 per cent. Two patients did not complete the final assessment.
About 30,000 Canadians have ulcerative colitis. Unlike the steroid treatment that many of them endure, the probiotic treatment caused virtually no side effects, other than mild bloating.
"This is a potentially new way of treating inflammatory bowel disease... that is probably quite safe and doesn't have a lot of side effects," says Dr. Hillary Steinhart of Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital.
Doctors don't know why the probiotic treatment doesn't work on all patients or if its effects are permanent. They also say patients shouldn't self medicate or replace current treatments with probiotics off the store shelf.
There is no proof that the doses available in commercial products help symptoms. But they say the study's results are encouraging and probiotics could next be tested on patients with Crohn's disease.
The results of the study are published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.