Milk fats – clue to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

MILKConcentrated milk fats, a common ingredient of processed foods and confectionery, trigger blooms of otherwise rare gut bacteria in mice that may contribute to inflammatory gut diseases.

The discovery coincides with release of the “microbiome” – the most comprehensive census yet of the species of bacteria that live in and on the human body. By providing an inventory of bugs that live in 18 sites on the body in healthy people, the Human Microbiome Project should enable researchers to explore how disease might result from perturbations to the microbes, similar to those observed in the mice fed milk fat.

Eugene Chang at the University of Chicago and colleagues gave mice milk fat, lard or safflower oil to see how it would alter the spectrum of bugs living in the gut. The mice were genetically engineered to mimic inflammatory bowel disease, unable to make a protein called interleukin 10 which normally damps down inflammation. Continue reading Milk fats – clue to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A link between Milk and IBS ?

Concentrated milk fats, a common ingredient of processed foods and confectionary, trigger blooms of otherwise rare gut bacteria in mice that may contribute to inflammatory gut diseases.

The discovery coincides with release this week of the “microbiome” – the most comprehensive census yet of the species of bacteria that live in and on the human body. By providing an inventory of bugs that live in 18 sites on the body in healthy people, the Human Microbiome Project should enable researchers to explore how disease might result from perturbations to the microbes, similar to those observed in the mice fed milk fat.

Eugene Chang at the University of Chicago and colleagues gave mice milk fat, lard or safflower oil to see how it would alter the spectrum of bugs living in the gut. The mice were genetically engineered to mimic inflammatory bowel disease, unable to make a protein called interleukin 10 which normally damps down inflammation. Continue reading A link between Milk and IBS ?

Faecal Transplants restore Gut Health

Flatulence and defecation are perhaps what most of us associate with the stomach and intestines, which is not so surprising when you consider that the gastrointestinal tract is the body’s largest metabolic organ and gives everyone, sick or healthy, a daily reminder of its function. Less likely to occupy our minds is that the gut is the home to more than a thousand different species of bacteria, together weighing more than a kilo. A growing number of researchers, on the other hand, are now spending their days pondering the significance of this myriad of bacteria.

Medical Science met three researchers at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, who are attempting in different ways to find out what our normal gut flora looks like, how it helps us to stay healthy, and what roles it plays in serious diseases. Elisabeth Norin, associate professor at the Department of Microbiology, Tumour and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institute, is studying faecal transplantation as a way of restoring gut health in people with diarrhoea caused by a bacterial imbalance. Continue reading Faecal Transplants restore Gut Health