Gut Bacteria Fights Inflammatory Bowel Disease

HealthDay News reports: "It has long been known that the guts of humans and other mammals contain about 1,000 different species of bacteria that protect against infection and aid digestion. It has also been suspected that recent increases in asthma and certain food allergies may be due to disruptions in the delicate balance of the intestinal ecosystem, according to background information in the study".

They also mention that previous research has found that the sugar molecule polysaccharide A (PSA), which is produced by a species of intestinal bacteria called Bacteroides fragilis, boosted levels of immune system cells known to protect against Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease.

Crohns Disease & Ulcerative Colitis

HealthDay News also mentions that in this new study, researchers at Harvard Medical School , Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the California Institute of Technology infected immune-suppressed mice with a harmful bacteria called Helicobacter hepaticus. The mice quickly developed IBD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

When Bacteroides fragilis was combined with H. hepaticus, the mice remained healthy. Further tests revealed that PSA produced by Bacteroides fragilis was a key factor in preventing Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBD. The molecule does this by prompting immune cells to secrete an anti-inflammatory interleukin called IL-10, which suppresses the inflammation caused by IBD.

They end by saying, "The researchers said their finding demonstrates the potential for "good" bacteria to benefit human health."

Source: HealthDay News Magazine
Article Name: Gut Bacteria Fights Inflammatory Bowel Disease