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Microbiome and Diabetes: Sick or Healthy? Bacterial Metabolism Tells Us Which—and Why

Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Shown to Reduce Arterial Plaque Buildup and Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Government of Canada Invests in New Genomic Applications Projects

XYMOGEN to supply multivitamin preparation for prestigious, federally funded clinical Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT2)

Breakthrough New Study Reveals the Benefits of Tomato Nutrient Complex on Cardiovascular Health

Cell Science Systems and The Alcat Test® for Food Intolerance Receives 2016 North American Company of the Year Award

Yoga May Have Health Benefits for People with Asthma

Is There a Link Between Oral Health and the Rate of Cognitive Decline?

Certain Alternative Therapies May Help Patients with Bowel Disorders




Released: 10/14/16


Microbiome and Diabetes: Sick or Healthy? Bacterial Metabolism Tells Us Which—and Why

The human gut is a complex ecosystem: Countless bacteria colonize it and help us to digest our food. Scientists from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg in collaboration with the IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg), the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg and the Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch have developed a way to study this ecosystem—the microbiome of the gut—in unprecedented detail: Their new approach allows examination of the genetic potential of the bacteria by decoding their DNA as well as assessing their activity by sequencing RNA, the molecules that are first formed upon transcription of the DNA.

They can also identify the proteins that are subsequently synthesized which in turn then catalyze metabolic reactions. "For the first time, we can now observe what happens simultaneously at the three levels of DNA, RNA, and proteins within the microbial communities of the gut," says Prof. Paul Wilmes, head of the LCSB Ecosystems Biology Group, who led the study. "This is important for us to better understand diseases such as diabetes, which the gut microbiome may have an effect on." The researchers have discovered, for example, that the composition of the gut microbiota hardly differs between patients with diabetes and healthy individuals. On the other hand, the genes which are switched on or off by the resident bacteria can be very different. The researchers publish their findings today in the renowned British journal Nature Microbiology.

The MUST study (Diabetes multiplex family study) focused on individuals who have already suffered from type 1 diabetes for several years, and who had provided stool samples to the IBBL - an essential partner of the study. "We studied the bacteria in the stool samples from these people," says Dr. Anna Heintz-Buschart, first author of the paper. "We also analyzed stool samples from healthy close relatives of the patients with diabetes." The researchers discovered that there is much less of a difference in bacterial species composition between people with and without diabetes than had long been believed. "However," Heintz-Buschart continues, "there are clear differences in what the bacteria do."

In type 1 diabetes, these differences presumably arise when the body's immune system attacks its own insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. The resulting damage can radically upset the composition of digestive juices. "The gut bacteria have to adapt to the changes in their environment," Heintz-Buschart explains. "They do this by adjusting their metabolism, or in other words they change the amounts of proteins or vitamins they produce, such as thiamine. What matters here is that a change in the body's thiamine levels can exacerbate the course of the disease." The once beneficial bacteria thus become a health risk and can worsen the sufferer's condition.

Such precise descriptions of disease-related changes in the microbiome and insights into their functional effects in the body were not possible until now, stresses Paul Wilmes: "While we had been able to determine the species composition in the gut ecosystem by conventional DNA analyses, we were in the dark as to what was actually going on there at a given point in time. To use the analogy of human society: we were able to carry out a census of different individuals without knowing what they might do as a profession. Now we know who does what and when." The breakthrough came when they combined different analytical techniques: "We looked at genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic information together for the first time, meaning we simultaneously studied the DNA, RNA, and proteins of the microbiome. Thus, we are now able to study which genes are transcribed and what proteins are produced at a given point in time. This simultaneous study at the three levels gives us an entirely new picture of the functional processes occurring in the gut, for example in relation to metabolism."

The medical professionals with whom Wilmes and his team collaborated see great hope in the new research approach. This includes Prof. Dr. Carine de Beaufort, who conducts research and treats patients at the LCSB and at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg. She was instrumental in finding families in which healthy and sick members were willing to participate in the study. "We expect these studies to help us identify biomarkers," she says. "These are molecules, such as proteins, that are produced or whose body levels change in the early stages of a diabetic condition. Such biomarkers would make diagnosis easier, so that we could already take preventive or therapeutic action at a very early stage."

In order to drive the search for these biomarkers, the study must go on, Paul Wilmes asserts. "We now wish to work together with families who have children with early forms of diabetes," he says. "For young people especially, it is important to detect indicators of the disease as early as possible. After all, the earlier doctors can intervene, the better they can assure a life with as few limitations as possible." Wilmes envisages detailed mechanistic studies that will give us a better understanding of the complex functions of the microbiome: "This way, we can learn how functional differences in, say, the biosynthesis of the vitamin thiamine by the gut microbiome relate to type 1 diabetes. Studies like MUST are crucial for this, as hypothesis generators."

The MUST project was carried out in collaboration between groups at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, the IBBL, the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg and the Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch. The project has been initiated within the Personalised Medicine Consortium and received financial support from the IBBL and the Luxembourg National Research Fund's ATTRACT, CORE, INTER and AFR funding programmes.

 

Anna Heintz-Buschart, Patrick May, Cédric C. Laczny, Laura A. Lebrun, Camille Bellora, Abhimanyu Krishna, Linda Wampach, Jochen G. Schneider, Angela Hogan, Carine de Beaufort and Paul Wilmes: Integrated multi-omics of the human gut microbiome in a case study of familial type 1 diabetes. Nature Microbiology

For further information, please contact: Ass. Prof. Dr. Paul Wilmes, E. paul.wilmes@uni.lu , T. +352-46-66-44-6188

 

SOURCE University of Luxembourg

Released: 10/14/16


Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Shown to Reduce Arterial Plaque Buildup and Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) has long been known to offer a bevy of cardiovascular benefits. Now 13 new studies published in The Journal of Nutrition provide credible proof of AGE’s capacity for preventing the progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The studies, which appeared in the February 2016 issue of the journal, give evidence of AGE’s ability to lower blood pressure, regulate cholesterol levels, slow the progression of arterial calcification in people with coronary artery disease, reduce non-calcified plaque buildup in arteries, and inhibit platelet aggregation. What’s more, AGE was also found to stimulate a healthy immune response.

The studies were conducted by researchers at universities and governmental agencies throughout the world. Matthew Budoff, MD, Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine and the Director of Cardiac CT in the Division of Cardiology, teamed up with other cardiologists at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center on one study review that lead them to conclude that AGE supplementation had a strong potential to lower multiple cardiovascular risk factors. They also conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study involving 55 patients with metabolic syndrome. Budoff’s group found that AGE slowed the progression of total plaque by 80 percent, reduced the accumulation of soft plaque, and demonstrated a regression on non-calcified (technically known as low-attenuation) plaque, which is the most vulnerable component of atherosclerosis.

“This study is another demonstration of the benefits of this supplement in reducing the accumulation of soft plaque and preventing the formation of new plaque in the arteries, which can cause heart disease,” says Dr. Budoff. “We have completed four randomized studies, and they have led us to conclude that Aged Garlic Extract can help slow the progression of atherosclerosis and reverse the early stages of heart disease.”

The other studies also found marked improvement in cardiovascular risk factors. Published reports by Dr. Patricio Lopez-Jaramillo show that the administration of AGE garlic extract, and single food intervention with pistachios, can increase adiponectin concentrations in individuals with metabolic syndrome, also preventing the progression of CVD.

Adding even more evidence to the growing body of data showing that AGE reduces common risk factors, an updated meta-analysis and research review by Dr. Karin Ried of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne Australia, suggests that AGE supplementation has the potential to lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients.

Upon analyzing the AGE-treated platelets from 14 participants, British researchers from Liverpool John Moores University concluded that supplementation inhibits platelet aggregation by preventing chemical changes to the endothelium. When platelets clump together they can form blood clots that can play a role in a future heart attack. However, this study found that AGE effectively reduces the risk of platelet aggregation and the associated threat.

Along with more than 750 published scientific papers on Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract, these clinical results, published in The Journal of Nutrition, adds to the growing body of research demonstrating that AGE can play a key role in slowing the progression of atherosclerosis—a gradual narrowing and hardening of the arteries that is implicated in heart attack and stroke. This research also confirms that AGE lowers other risk factors such as elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

“These clinical studies are very important because Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract has repeatedly shown reproducible benefits for improved cardiovascular health, even in at-risk populations,” syas Masaki Matsushita, Director of Research and Development at Wakunaga of America, the maker of Kyolic AGE. “These clinical studies are useful, not only in preventing cardiovascular disease in those with metabolic syndrome, but also in healthy individuals with high cholesterol and other risk factors for the buildup of potentially dangerous arterial plaque.”

 

SOURCE Wakunaga of America Co., Ltd.

Released: 10/14/16


Government of Canada Invests in New Genomic Applications Projects

Canadians feel the impact of global challenges like climate change, disease, and increasing competition to sell to export markets. Genomics delivers new knowledge, tools, and innovations that can be used to address these challenges, fueling productivity, growth, and medical breakthroughs benefitting Canadians.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Science, Terry Beech, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, was at the University of British Columbia today to announce $6 million in federal funding for six new genomic applications projects from across Canada. An additional $13 million will be invested in these projects by partners including provinces, private and public sector organizations.

·         Dr. Joerg Bohlmann of the University of British Columbia is working with the B.C. government to more rapidly breed western red cedar trees with high-value attributes that will protect this $1-billion industry from threats posed by climate change and pathogens.

·         Drs. Cynthia Hawkins and John Racher, from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, are working with NanoString Technologies to develop diagnostic tests for pediatric cancer that will improve the survival times and quality of life for children with cancer.

·         Dr. David Stewart, from the Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, is working with the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association to improve precision medicine diagnosis for lung cancer patients, which could realize more than $151 million in savings to the Canadian health care system by eliminating ineffective treatments.

·         Dr. Pierre Thibault of the Université de Montréal is working with Thermo Fisher Scientific to deliver an instrument that can identify subtle mutations in patients’ cancer cells, a breakthrough that could accelerate health research discoveries.

·         Dr. Claude Robert of Université Laval is working with the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement and two large swine packers (Olymel and Hylife) to enhance both production efficiency in the pig industry and the quality of pork.

·         Dr. Matthew Rise of Memorial University of Newfoundland & Labrador is working with EWOS Innovation, in partnership with Mitacs, to develop therapeutic diets that decrease disease and mortality in farmed Atlantic salmon. Their work could provide $57 million in economic benefits to Canada’s aquaculture industry.  

These projects are being funded through Round 6 of Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP). GAPP partners academic researchers with users in the private and public sectors to promote genomics-derived solutions to address challenges or opportunities facing users. The projects are expected to have considerable economic and social impacts in the near term, while also spurring innovation and commercialization.

Through a Genome Canada and Mitacs partnership, GAPP also supports training of the next generation of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Many GAPP projects involve research internships, which will prepare Canada’s next entrepreneurs through hands-on experience.

Quotes

“This important work will advance the use of genomics to enhance the health of Canadians. It will also strengthen the resilience of our environment to threats posed by climate change while supporting our industrial and agricultural sectors. Today’s announcement is further evidence of our government’s commitment to investing in applied research that is aimed at solving real-world problems and expanding Canada’s research horizons.” 

– Hon. Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“These projects illustrate the value of genomics to help bring solutions to sectors ranging from forestry to health to agri-food and aquaculture, among others. The applications of genomics are exploding, along with the vast potential for benefits that touch the lives of all Canadians.”

– Mr. Marc LePage, President and CEO, Genome Canada

“Our partnership with Professor Rise at Memorial University and EWOS Innovation exemplifies the shared commitment Mitacs and Genome Canada have in supporting Canada’s next generation of innovators. Their research in genomics plays an important role in addressing multi-sector challenges while having a positive impact on the economy.”

– Dr. Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

 

SOURCE GenomeCanada

Released: 10/05/16


XYMOGEN to supply multivitamin preparation for prestigious, federally funded clinical Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT2)

 XYMOGEN is proud to announce that it has been chosen by Mount Sinai Medical Center of Florida and the Duke Clinical Research Institute to manufacture and supply the oral vitamin and mineral preparations that will be tested in the second Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT2).

Chelation is a process by which a medication, such as edetate disodium, can "grab" toxic metals like lead or cadmium—which are present in most individuals' bodies—and allow for their removal in the urine. Standard chelation therapy is typically given in conjunction with oral vitamins and minerals, which XYMOGEN will provide for the study. 

TACT2 is funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, as well as the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

TACT2 will examine the use of intravenous chelation therapy in combination with the oral vitamins supplied by XYMOGEN to determine if either chelation or oral vitamins and minerals will reduce cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes and a history or a heart attack. An earlier 10-year study suggested that chelation therapy in conjunction with high dose vitamins might be beneficial. Based on these results, the Mount Sinai and Duke scientists who conducted the trial felt that a repeat study was important to carry out. This present study will be carried out in patients with diabetes and a prior heart attack, common medical conditions.

XYMOGEN will be providing high quality, oral multivitamin and mineral formulations as well as the matching placebos for TACT2. XYMOGEN CEO and Founder Brian Blackburn said, "Our company is proud to be partnering with Mount Sinai Medical Center and Duke Clinical Research Institute and contributing to integrative medicine research."

The study chairman for TACT and the upcoming TACT2 is Dr. Gervasio Lamas, chairman of medicine and chief of the Columbia University Division of Cardiology at Mount Sinai, which is located in Miami Beach, Florida. "The hallmark of science is the ability to replicate results," said Lamas. "Therefore, in collaboration with the Duke Clinical Research Institute and NIH scientists, we secured funding for TACT2."

"XYMOGEN's reputation in the medical community, coupled with its flexibility to design and manufacture the formulations necessary for this scale of clinical trial is essential for a successful study," Dr. Lamas said, "We will finally find out if high doses of multivitamins and minerals have a positive impact on cardiovascular health. We look forward to a long, productive relationship with the XYMOGEN team."

Participant enrollment for TACT2 will begin in the fall of 2016. The study plans to enroll about 1200 patients from over 100 clinical research sites in the U.S. and Canada. Those who are 50 years of age or older, have had a heart attack in the past, and are living with diabetes may meet the eligibility criteria for enrollment.

Potential clinical sites and patients interested in participating may contact the study team through www.tact2.org or may contact Dr. Lamas' team directly at lamas@tact2.cc.

For more information on XYMOGEN, visit XYMOGEN.com, email pr@xymogen.com or call 800-647-6100.

For more information on Mount Sinai Medical Center, visit www.msmc.com or call 305-674-CARE (2273).

 

SOURCE XYMOGEN

Released: 10/05/16


Breakthrough New Study Reveals the Benefits of Tomato Nutrient Complex on Cardiovascular Health

A newly published study in Food Nutrition Research has revealed that CardioMato™, which contains a patented Tomato Nutrient Complex and Thiamine, can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and improve a variety of heart related health concerns, by eliminating oxidised LDL cholesterol after a main meal, and protecting the health of the artery walls.

The award winning study, which was presented at the Scripps Supplement Conference in San Diego in January 2016, involved 150 healthy men and women who were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or patented Tomato Nutrient Complex by Lycored for two weeks. At the end of the supplementation period participants consumed a meal containing fat, before factors relating to lipid and sugar levels, as well as oxidized LDL were evaluated.

The study found that those who consumed the standardized Tomato Nutrient Complex after eating the high fat meal had significantly reduced levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol in comparison to the placebo group. Those in the Tomato Nutrient Complex group also displayed reduced insulin levels, with researchers also observing a beneficial trend for glucose levels following the meal.

These findings suggest that carotenoids, and more specifically the standardized and patented Tomato Nutrient Complex which is featured exclusively in the heart health supplement CardioMato distributed in the UK by Vita Healthcare, possesses a favorable effect on various conditions relating to cardiovascular health, and the management of oxidative stress induced by consuming excess fat. The oxidative stress reaction is widely believed to contribute to high levels of LDL cholesterol, a rise in triglycerides and elevated glucose and insulin levels, which are thought to be major contributors in the development of atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries, and other conditions including diabetes and obesity.

Earlier this year CardioMato™ won the Product of the Year - Heart Health Award by NutraIngredients 2016. CardioMato™ is a new nutritional supplement which combines the highest quality and purest, natural ingredients to ensure maximum benefits for cardiovascular health. The synergistic composition of the Lycored Nutrient Complex includes standardized tomato lycopene and phytosterols in 1:1 ratio, thiamine, phytoene & phytofluene, tocopherols (which has antioxidant vitamin E activity), and beta-carotene, with the final composition tested for effectiveness using pharma-grade human trials.

 

SOURCE CardioMato

Released: 10/05/16


Cell Science Systems and The Alcat Test® for Food Intolerance Receives 2016 North American Company of the Year Award

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, has recognized Cell Science Systems Corporation (CSS) with the 2016 Best Practices Award as “North American Food Intolerance Testing Company of the Year.” The award was based on Frost & Sullivan’s recent independent analysis of the food intolerance testing market. CSS was the only provider to receive the score of “excellent” with 9.5 points (out of 10). The award is based on visionary innovation, technology/performance, and customer impact.

The analysis showed that CSS demonstrated a remarkable performance in the last 20 years as the market leader, based on its flagship, the Alcat Test for food/chemical sensitivity—a cellular test to assess which foods, chemicals, molds, functional foods, additives, or drugs irritate the body, causing inflammation-induced and/or chronic conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, skin rashes, obesity, arthritis, migraine, chronic fatigue, and many others.

“We are delighted to be recognized as the leader in the food sensitivity and intolerance testing market. Recent clinical testing continues to indicate the importance of understanding the relationship between food sensitivities, inflammation and the innate immune system in our overall health and wellness,” stated Roger Deutsch, President and CEO of Cell Science Systems.

A recent study conducted at Northern Illinois University reported benefit to body composition, disease symptoms and total body inflammation to subjects following the test.

With the success of its flagship product, CSS has expanded its offerings to cover bowel disorders such as celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease and also addresses chronic disease with various molecular tests, such as its MethylDetox Profile, which helps customers understand their genetic constitutions and address health issues by changing diet and nutritional intake.

The CSS Alcat Test is the only technology in this market segment that has been clinically validated according to rigorous standards by independent bodies. A major key to the Company’s success is its full vertical integration. CSS is not only a lab but also an FDA-registered medical device manufacturer that voluntarily maintains ISO EN 13485 certification. It not only performs the testing but also manufactures the instrumentation and substances used in the testing process, thereby achieving higher quality control.

CSS is based in Deerfield Beach, FL and operates a wholly owned subsidiary in Germany.

Released: 10/04/16


Yoga May Have Health Benefits for People with Asthma

A new Cochrane Review, published in the Cochrane Library, suggests that yoga may have a beneficial effect on symptoms and quality of life in people with asthma, but effects on lung function and medication use are uncertain.

Asthma is a common chronic disease affecting about 300 million people worldwide. The many typical symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Yoga has gained global popularity as a form of exercise with general life-style benefits and recent studies have investigated the potential of yoga to relieve asthma-related problems.

A new Cochrane Review summarizes the results of randomized trials and has found evidence that practicing yoga might be able to improve asthma quality of life and symptoms to some extent. However, researchers also warned that higher-quality studies with more participants would be needed to draw any firm conclusions about the effects of yoga.

The team of Cochrane researchers wanted to find out the effects of yoga in people with asthma.

They found 15 randomized controlled trials which involved 1,048 men and women. Most of the trials were conducted in India, followed by Europe and the United States. The majority of participants had mild to moderate asthma for six months to more than 23 years. Six studies looked into the effects of breathing alone during yoga exercise, whilst the other studies assessed the effects of yoga that included breathing, posture, and meditation.

Most people continued to take their usual asthma medication while participating in the studies.

The studies were conducted over a time period of two weeks to over four years.

The researchers found some moderate quality evidence from five studies that yoga exercise reduces the impact of asthma on people’s quality of life. However, evidence about yoga’s impact on the participants’ lung function is more uncertain because the results varied. The effects of yoga on medication use and any side-effects of yoga are also uncertain, because only a few very small studies reported these outcomes.

Lead author, Dr Zuyao Yang from the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong commented, “Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to small improvements in asthma quality of life and symptoms. However, it is unclear whether yoga has a consistent impact on lung function and we don’t yet know if yoga can reduce people’s medication usage, or if there are any side-effects of yoga for people with asthma.”

Deputy Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Airways Group, Rebecca Normansell, added, “At present, we just don’t have enough high quality evidence to determine the effects of yoga as a type of exercise for helping people manage their asthma. Because there is uncertainty about the effects of yoga on lung function and use of asthma medication, it’s important that people with asthma continue to take their medication, as prescribed. The findings of this Cochrane Review will help people make more informed choices about their future treatment options.”

Released: 10/04/16


Is There a Link Between Oral Health and the Rate of Cognitive Decline?

Better oral hygiene and regular dental visits may play a role in slowing cognitive decline as people age, although evidence is not definitive enough to suggest that one causes the other. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, come from the first systematic review of studies focused on oral health and cognition—two important areas of research as the older adult population continues to grow, with some 36 percent of people over age 70 already living with cognitive impairments.

Researchers have questioned whether an association exists between oral health and cognitive status for older adults. “Clinical evidence suggests that the frequency of oral health problems increases significantly in cognitively impaired older people, particularly those with dementia,” said Bei Wu, PhD, of Duke University’s School of Nursing in Durham, NC. “In addition, many of the factors associated with poor oral health—such as poor nutrition and systemic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease—are also associated with poor cognitive function.”

To look for a link between oral health and cognitive status, Dr. Wu and her colleagues analyzed relevant cross-sectional (data collected at one specific point in time) and longitudinal (data collected over an extended period of time) studies published between 1993 and 2013.

Some studies found that oral health measures such as the number of teeth, the number of cavities, and the presence of periodontal disease (also known as “gum disease”) were associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline or dementia, while others studies were unable to confirm any association. Researchers were also quick to note that findings based on the number of teeth or cavities are conflicting, and limited studies suggest that periodontal conditions such as gingivitis are associated with poorer cognitive status or cognitive decline.

“There is not enough evidence to date to conclude that a causal association exists between cognitive function and oral health,” said Dr. Wu. “For future research, we recommend that investigators gather data from larger and more population representative samples, use standard cognitive assessments and oral health measures, and use more sophisticated data analyses.”

Released: 10/04/16


Certain Alternative Therapies May Help Patients with Bowel Disorders

A new review looks at the evidence behind the effectiveness of complementary or alternative therapies—including probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, fiber, and herbal medicinal products—for the treatment of bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional constipation, and ulcerative colitis.

The review’s authors note that most available studies are biased by several drawbacks; however, probiotics, synbiotics, psyllium, and some herbal medicinal products (primarily peppermint oil) seem to be effective in ameliorating IBS symptoms. Synbiotics and fiber seem to be beneficial in patients with functional constipation, and the non-pathogenic strain Nissle 1917 of Escherichia coli may be effective in maintaining remission in patients with ulcerative colitis.

“Patients with common functional bowel disorders such as chronic idiopathic constipation and irritable bowel syndrome who cannot find benefit or have adverse effects with the use of traditional drug therapies, or do not want to use them, should be told that alternative medicines are available that may be effective,” said Dr. Diego Curro, lead author of the British Journal of Pharmacology study. “Also, patients with mild clinical forms of ulcerative colitis should be informed that they might use, with caution, an alternative probiotic treatment to prevent relapse.”

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