Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could a probiotic be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease?

Date:
October 20, 2011
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
A new study has found a scientific "design" for a probiotic that could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease.

Scientists have been unclear for some time about how most probiotics work. A new study has found a scientific 'design' for a probiotic that could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn's disease.

The research by academics at the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences and School of Clinical Medicine is published online in the journal PLoS ONE.

Most probiotics on the market, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, are lactic acid bacteria. Although probiotics have been shown to successfully maintain remission in IBD, evidence of their effectiveness in active disease is rare. The researchers have found that this is because an increase in iron levels, which happens during active IBD, inhibits the growth of probiotic bacteria, including Lactobacillus.

Iron levels increase in the intestine during inflammation, bleeding, during stress and when people are taking iron supplements. Iron is critically important to the growth of most species of bacteria, including pathogens, and its availability is what restricts their growth. It is well known that pathogens increase growth rate by up to 8,000 times when exposed to increased levels of iron. Lactic acid bacteria are unusual as they have evolved not to require iron, and so do not increase growth rate when exposed to it.

Dr Tristan Cogan, Research Fellow in the School of Veterinary Sciences, said: "When we started our study we considered the properties that a probiotic would need to treat IBD. Most importantly, it would need to be able to survive and grow in the presence of high levels of iron and to reduce inflammation. We then worked out how to test bacteria to see whether it had these properties.

"The difficult step was finding a bacterium that had all of the properties that we wanted. Now we have found something that looks like it should work, our next step will be to test the probiotic in clinical trials."

The researchers found that a range of probiotic strains of lactic acid bacteria cannot respond to increased iron levels. The study then identified a strain, which the academics have patented, that can and showed that it has probiotic and immunomodulatory properties, and can reduce pro-inflammatory responses to pathogens associated with IBD.

The researchers suggest that iron response is the factor that prevents probiotics from being useful in treating disease, and that their bacterium could be a novel probiotic treatment for active intestinal disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jennifer R. Bailey, Christopher S. J. Probert, Tristan A. Cogan. Identification and Characterisation of an Iron-Responsive Candidate Probiotic. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (10): e26507 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026507

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Could a probiotic be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020024716.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2011, October 20). Could a probiotic be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020024716.htm
University of Bristol. "Could a probiotic be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111020024716.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins