Probiotic bacteria may help in inflammatory bowel disease

Researchers from Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), Germany, have found that an enzyme produced by Lactobacillus paracasei, a bacteria found in lactic acid, which is commonly contained in yoghurt, reduces inflammation in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The enzyme is found to selectively interrupt inflammatory processes by degrading messengers from the immune system, known as chemokines. Chemokines occur naturally and guide the immune system to the source of infection, however when malfunction occurs, in diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, chemokines then contribute to tissue damage.

Using this information, the researchers can develop new approaches to prevention and treatment of chronic bowel disorders.

Source: Cell Host and Microbe

April 2012.

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