Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Long-held secret of bowel movement now understood, leads to improved nutrient absorption

Date:
February 24, 2014
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
A research team has found a segmentation motion occurs when not one but two sets of pacemakers interact with each other to create a specific rhythm. Then they work together with nerves and muscle to generate the movement that allows for nutrient absorption inside the human digestive system. The discovery is important as it gives direction for development of drugs or nutrients which will combat disorders when people have diarrhea, constipation, bloating or malabsorption of nutrients from food.

High performance athletes like Olympians can push their bodies to optimal potential, but some of the ways the human body actually works is still a mystery. Now McMaster University researchers have cleared up one aspect of how the bowels move that had mystified scientists for, well, forever.

Gastroenterology scientist Jan Huizinga and his team have learned that of the two types of movement, the segmentation motion occurs when not one but two sets of pacemakers interact with each other to create a specific rhythm. Then they work together with nerves and muscle to generate the movement that allows for nutrient absorption. The other type of movement moves the food along.

The discovery was made by Huizinga, a professor of medicine, and his researchers at the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Institute at McMaster University working with investigators of Wuhan University in China and colleagues at the University of Toronto. The paper was published by the science journal Nature Communications on Feb. 24.

"In the long run, it's simple," said Huizinga. "It's like when a stone is dropped in water, it creates waves or motion that pushes things along, but when a second stone is dropped in the water, the movement changes to up and down, appearing to stay in the same place."

The discovery is important as it gives direction for development of drugs or nutrients which will combat disorders when people have diarrhea, constipation, bloating or malabsorption of nutrients from food. With diarrhea, the segmentation activity is too low; in constipation, the same activity is too high and pain related to eating is often caused by abnormal contractions, said Huizinga.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jan D. Huizinga, Ji-Hong Chen, Yong Fang Zhu, Andrew Pawelka, Ryan J. McGinn, Berj L. Bardakjian, Sean P. Parsons, Wolfgang A. Kunze, Richard You Wu, Premysl Bercik, Amir Khoshdel, Sifeng Chen, Sheng Yin, Qian Zhang, Yuanjie Yu, Qingmin Gao, Kongling Li, Xinghai Hu, Natalia Zarate, Phillip Collins, Marc Pistilli, Junling Ma, Ruixue Zhang, David Chen. The origin of segmentation motor activity in the intestine. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4326

Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Long-held secret of bowel movement now understood, leads to improved nutrient absorption." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224080839.htm>.
McMaster University. (2014, February 24). Long-held secret of bowel movement now understood, leads to improved nutrient absorption. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224080839.htm
McMaster University. "Long-held secret of bowel movement now understood, leads to improved nutrient absorption." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224080839.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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