Link to the CBC article here:
The link between inflammatory bowel disease and the microbiome keeps becoming more evident as research progresses. I said it earlier this year in The Microbiome and Kombucha and I’ll say it again; if they find a cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, I think it is going to come from a better understanding of the microbiome and the complex interactions between bacteria in the gut and the body.
Paradigm shifting research published November 23, 2016 in Nature based out of the University of Ontario found that patients with Crohn’s had significantly fewer protective microorganisms within their microbiome that produce butyrate, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid than compared to healthy individuals.
Mottawea and team (2016) also found that those same patients had higher amounts of gut bacteria within their microbiome that can induce inflammation by producing H2S, Hydrogen Sulphide within the gut. They were also able to identify a specific bacterial strain Atopobium parvulum that is a major producer of Hydrogen Sulphide can induce severe colitis in the presence of other microbes within the gut.
What is the Microbiome?
The microbiome is an entire system of microorganisms, bacteria and viruses living within your body. Research is coming out constantly on the importance of the microbiome as it can affect immune function, brain function, mood, energy levels, inflammation and many other bodily functions. Relationships between the microbiome and human body is poorly understood as the genes in the microbiome outnumber the genes in our genome by approximately 100:1 and the microbiome contains more cells than the rest of the body combined (Ferguson, 2015). This incredibly complex system within our body requires further research to fully understand the role the microbiome plays on bodily functions as well as disease. What we do know is that probiotics (good bacteria) can alter the microbiome by increasing good bacteria which is fed by prebiotics allowing the body to fight off the bad bacteria more effectively.
I’ve been very interested in “gut health” and the microbiome for a few years now. This newly published research just scratches the surface, showing the complexity of the human body and how much we still do not understand. The importance of probiotics for everyone, especially those with auto-immune conditions is constant reminder with the direction current research is going.
The current research in this area is promising and exciting! I cannot wait for what the future brings for auto-immune diseases!
CBC did not post the link but if you’re interested, you can find the published paper below:
Mottawea, W. et al. 2016. Altered intestinal microbiota–host mitochondria crosstalk in new onset Crohn’s disease. Nat. Commun. 7, 13419 doi: 10.1038/ncomms13419
Ferguson D. World-class research centre launched with $9.9-million federal grant. University of Calgary. [accessed 2016 May 24]. https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2015-07-31/world-class-research-centre-launched-99-million-federal-grant