Thursday, August 07, 2014

Help your intestinal lining

Good bacteria that aid in digestion help keep the intestinal lining intact. The findings, reported in the journal Immunity, could yield new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and a wide range of other disorders.

Scientists found that absorption of a specific bacterial byproduct is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal epithelium -- the single-cell layer responsible for keeping intestinal bacteria and their toxins inside the gut and away from the rest of the body. Breaching of the intact intestinal epithelium is associated with a number of diseases.

A metabolite called indole 3-propionic acid (IPA) -- produced exclusively by so-called commensal bacteria, which aid in digestion -- both strengthens the intestinal epithelium's barrier function and prevents its inflammation.

Adding probiotics to the intestine is another option we may be able to use to prevent or treat IBD and other inflammatory disorders that occur when the intestinal epithelium has been compromised.

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