Prune juice not necessary: New research should make bowel movements easier

April 8, 2009

If you hate prune juice and chalky fiber supplements, just sit down and relax. Help is on the way. In a research report published online in The FASEB Journal, a team of researchers has discovered a new way to make it a lot easier to go to the bathroom, especially when all other methods fail. Specifically, they have found a group of nerve ending receptors which, when stimulated, causes the bowels to pass waste, and the specific receptor needed to activate bowel clearance. Furthermore, they tested chemicals that work with those receptors, providing a blueprint for the development of new laxatives.

"We hope that the receptor identified by our study would be exploited more in the design of drugs to treat constipation," said Bindu Chandrasekharan, a researcher from Emory University who was involved in the study.

The research involved two groups of mice, focusing on a type of receptor also present on human nerves in the gut (a type of adenosine receptor). The first group of mice had normal adenosine receptors on these nerves and normal bowel movements. The second group of mice completely lacked these adenosine receptors and showed familiar signs of constipation. The researchers started with simple experiments such as comparing the wet weight, dry weight, and water content in the stools of both groups. The mice were also made to drink a dye not absorbed by the body to see how it passed or did not pass. In addition, the researchers used microscopic lasers to separate the cells from the bowel to determine exactly where the receptors are located. Then they tested various chemicals that can activate or inhibit the nerve receptors.

"I actually like prune juice, but I find the study to be very compelling," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D, Editor-in-Chief of The . "Here's why: First, we can look forward to a solution to what is sometimes a serious problem, especially infants and the elderly. Second, it's the first definitive proof that these receptors, the adenosine receptors, control bowel function. This discovery promises to yield agents that will permit us to sit down and ease up in the middle of a busy day."

More information: Bindu P. Chandrasekharan, Vasantha L. Kolachala, Guillaume Dalmasso, Didier Merlin, Katya Ravid, Shanthi V. Sitaraman, and Shanthi Srinivasan. Adenosine 2B receptors (A2BAR) on enteric neurons regulate murine distal colonic motility. FASEB J. doi:10.1096/fj.09-129544;

Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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not rated yet Apr 08, 2009
Oh dear. The inferences are sufferers should in the future avoid cheap remedies and buy high tech drugs. Thanks, but no thanks. Eating a cup of roasted raw (not the dried variety) pumpkin seeds does the job every time, thank you very much. And it helps if your diet have a decent amount of fibres. Chewy, fibrous vegies work best, such as old stalks of celery, outer leaves of cabages, whole kernel corn (maize), the chewy ends of asparagus, apples, string beans, carrots...etc, the list are extensive once you start paying attention. The human digestive tract won't be cleaned and work properly and eliminate waste promptly and efficiently without fibre. Regrettably, that's how it works, period. That's why astronauts eat "low residue" foods on missions to temporarily "discourage" bowel movements urges. On the other hand, try eating plenty of fibrous vegies as suggested above for a week, and see for yourself how easy, complete and quick it is in the bathroom...but if you want to stick to white bread, plenty of meat and dairy products with no fruits and vegies, you are welcome to continue to spend considerable time reading one newspaper after another on the throne. All that grunting and the still bloating, blocking feeling you are having mostly have nothing to do with the depressing news you are reading...!
not rated yet Apr 08, 2009
That is a long rant for something that you must care passionately about. I guess some people have to care about excrement.
not rated yet Apr 08, 2009
That is a long rant for something that you must care passionately about. I guess some people have to care about excrement.

ha ha ha, you know what, Eat, Sleep, Sex, S$%t are four basic human essential bodily functions. Careers have been made in dealing with those issues by the medical profession, as i think you must admit...
not rated yet Apr 09, 2009
I've tried many things, incl senna, docusate sodium, various forms of fibers, vit c far the best and safest Ive found is simply adequate magnesiumm supplementation.
not rated yet Apr 09, 2009
One need be neither an infant nor elderly to suffer horrifically from malfunctioning bowels, as anyone who is forced to take a medication such as HYDROCODONE or METHADONE for chronic pain management can attest to. And I give you my word, no amount of fresh veggies (my personal favorite) or any other form of fiber is going to speed things up. As a matter of fact, there is nothing better for stimulating methane production than those good old
fresh veggies and fabulously fibrous beans. If you
have never considered penetrating your abdomen with a pin knife in hopes of puncturing the bowel in order to release the trapped gas as an attractive proposition,then true empathy just isn't possible. No doubt we'll see new drugs come on the market due to this vital research. And yes, they will be prohibitively expensive for millions of sufferers. Here it lies for us to wrest control of distribution from the legal drug cartels in our continuing battle to place the needs of humanity before corporate profits. Now, antidotally speaking,and I am not generalizing,but speaking what is true just in my case, I find that cooking with fresh cannabis helps me manage my chronic pain nicely AND stimulates my bowels in splendid fashion. LAWS and PROFITS and POLICE, OH MY!! What's a poor boy to do?


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