New probiotic combats inflammatory bowel disease

Jan 31, 2011

You know the probiotics in your peach yogurt are healthful, but now it appears they may also be a powerful treatment for disease.

A genetically tweaked version of a common probiotic found in yogurt and cheese appears to be an effective therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and . It may also prove to be useful in colon cancer, another disease triggered by inflammation.

Northwestern Medicine researchers deleted a gene in the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus and fed the new form to mice with two different models of colitis. After 13 days of treatment, the novel probiotic strain nearly eliminated colon inflammation in the mice and halted progression of their disease by 95 percent.

"This opens brand new avenues to treat various of the gut, including and colon cancer, all which can be triggered by imbalanced inflammatory immune responses," said Mansour Mohamadzadeh, associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead investigator of the study. He also is a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

The study will be published Jan. 31 in the .

While the origin of these bowel diseases is not known, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are two chronically relapsing diseases in which sufferers have an ongoing tissue inflammation that alters the functioning of the intestine. The diseases affect more than 1 million people in the United States and can cause weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping and gastrointestinal bleeding. Current drug treatment is not completely effective and patients can relapse, Mohamadzadeh said.

"Such gene targeting in a probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus offers the possibility of a safe, drug-free treatment in the near future," he said.

In the study, the modified Lactobacillus acidophilus entered the gut, which is akin to a battlefield of friendly fire with immune cells attacking the intestine. The Lactobacillus acidophilus acted as the gut's peacekeeping force, calming the overstimulated immune cells.

The probiotic restored intestinal peace by mobilizing messenger immune cells, called dendritic cells. The dendritic cells, in turn, enhanced the production of other functional immune cells, regulatory T-cells that rebalanced intestinal and systemic inflammation.

"They essentially calm everything down and restore it to normal," Mohamadzadeh explained. The next step will be a clinical trial with the new form of Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Mohamadzadeh and his colleagues at the Lurie Cancer Center are currently researching the effect of the new Lactobacillus acidophilus on .

Explore further: The dopamine transporter: Researchers study a common link between addiction and neurological disease

Related Stories

Goodbye needle, hello smoothie (w/Video)

Mar 17, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Instead of a dreaded injection with a needle, someday getting vaccinated against disease may be as pleasant as drinking a yogurt smoothie.

Probiotic found to be effective treatment for colitis in mice

Oct 26, 2009

The probiotic, Bacillus polyfermenticus, can help mice recover from colitis, a new study has found. Mice treated with B. polyfermenticus during the non-inflammatory period of the disease had reduced rectal bleeding, their tissues ...

Blueberries counteract intestinal diseases

Feb 09, 2010

It is already known that blueberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. New research from the Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden shows that blueberry fibre are important and can alleviate and protect against ...

Early onset gene for inflammatory bowel diseases identified

Sep 02, 2008

A study of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in children has identified a gene that influences whether children get these diseases early in life, and points to a potential new target for treatment. The findings of the ...

Designer probiotics could reduce obesity

Dec 23, 2010

Specially designed probiotics can modulate the physiology of host fat cells say scientists writing in Microbiology. The findings could lead to specialised probiotics that have a role in the prevention or treatment of conditions ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tpb
not rated yet Jan 31, 2011
What did the gene do that they deleted?
Is the bacteria still alive or capable of reproducing?
Is it acceptable to use modified bacteria in a test with people?
How will they prevent the general spread of this bacteria throughout the population?
stealthc
not rated yet Jan 31, 2011
Who cares I think this one sounds AOK to me, I'll try a dose, so will my fiancee who has IBS. A way to get pretty much get rid of ulcers, IBC and chron's disease all in one shot? Why the hell not, I see no problems with this and I'd risk my own on it. Of course that is before big pharma gets their hands on it and tweaks it to produce some other medication dependent illness. They are testing some pretty scary GMO product on us alreay, may as well use one that has a clear benefit rather than their pesticide producing genes, or their retarded terminator genes (these companies like bayer and monsanto disgust me).
Elissa
not rated yet Jan 31, 2011
hi there
Elissa
not rated yet Jan 31, 2011
my aologies--I did not think my comment would go thru,so that was a test. I'm sure the modified bacteria is Ok for people. I have Crohn's & advanced stages of Hep C and or a fact, I know from personal experience, that the bacillus is a wonder for my guts. I have had 4 major surgeries on my guts starting when I was 25. (Now 54) The last was in 2004. I only, very recently, had the bacillus and it did wonders for me. I cannot have coffee anymore--but getting back on track, read the ingredients, in ur yogurt especially,because that is where u will find bacillus,mostly.Stealth, I mean no rudeness, but you r obviously a beginner with this, simply by the way you speak about it. IBS has much to do with the ingredients in food; most of which cause birth defects, some r actually glue = caseinate. White bread will wind up like paste in ones' inflammed guts. I was baking bread when I was 15. Bake ur own. Buy a juicer ='s the most nutrients & vitamins to soothe inflammed guts.
Elissa
not rated yet Jan 31, 2011
Everyone's tolerane is different, but it is the ingredients NOT in ur food that will save you.Ex. the last ingredient in milk, is milk. Good Luck & peace on your journey.
satyricon
not rated yet Feb 01, 2011
Probiotics are the way to go for several diseases as it has a positive effect on the well-being of the immune system and the complex intestines, which regulates itself like a 'nervous' system (90% of the serotonin are found in the intestines). Different strain combinations to different different people. Hopefully, all inflammatory diseases will be helped by this.