Posted on Jul 21, 2020, 3 p.m.
Approximately 11% of all people around the globe are affected by irritable bowel syndrome which is characterized by recurring episodes of abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits; and those with mucosal inflammation and changes within the gut’s microbial composition may be considered to be pre-IBD.
43 healthy adults and 49 adult patients with IBS were included in this study. Fecal calprotectin was measured in the participants to gauge levels of intestinal inflammation; elevated levels indicated a pre-IBD condition, and 19 patients with IBS were identified as being pre-IBD.
All participants who consumed high fat diets and used antibiotics were found to be at 8.6 times higher risk for having pre-IBD than those with no recent history of antibiotic use and were on a low fat diet. Those with the highest fat consumption were 2.8 times more likely to have pre-IBD, and a recent history of antibiotic use alone was associated with a 3.9 times higher likelihood of having pre-IBD.
"Our study found that a history of antibiotics in individuals consuming a high-fat diet was associated with the greatest risk for pre-IBD," said Andreas Bäumler, professor of medical microbiology and immunology and lead author on the study. "Until now, we didn't appreciate how different environmental risk factors can synergize to drive the disease."
The effect of a high fat diet and antibiotic use on the cells in the intestinal lining was also tested using mouse models, which was found to cooperate to disrupt the work of the cell mitochondria, shutting down its ability to burn oxygen and the disruption in oxygen consumption leads to oxygen leakage into the gut.
Beneficial bacteria within the body thrive in environments that are lacking in oxygen like the large intestine, higher levels of oxygen in the gut promote bacterial imbalances and inflammation. The disruption in the gut environments creates a cycle of replacing good bacteria with potentially harmful pro-inflammatory microbes that are more oxygen tolerant, which in turn leads to mucosal inflammation that is linked to pre-IBD conditions.
"The best approach to a healthy gut is to get rid of the preferred sustenance of harmful microbes," Lee said. "Our study emphasized the importance of avoiding high fat food and abuse of antibiotics to avoid gut inflammation."
Additionally, 5-aminosalicylate known as mesalazine, which is a drug that restarts the energy factories in the intestinal lining was identified by the researchers in this study as a potential treatment for pre-IBD.
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