Probiotic found in breast milk could help with digestive disorders

In new research Wolfgang Kunze, a researcher at the McMaster Brain-Body Institute and Department of Psychiatry at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Ontario, Canada have used mice to show that a specific strain of Lactobacillus reuteri decreases the force of muscle contractions in the gut within minutes of exposure. The bacterium is found in human breast milk and occurs naturally in the gut of many mammals.

In the study the researchers introduced Lactobacillus reuteri into isolated pieces of small intestine taken from healthy and previously untreated mice. The bacterium was added to a warm salt solution flowing through the lumen, or hollow part, of the intestine and the pressure caused by natural contractions was measured before, during and after adding the bacterium. Relaxation of smooth muscle tissue was compared with the action of the bacterium. Researchers also tested the electrical activity of single intestinal sensory nerve cells.

The researchers suggest that increasing the intake of this bacterium might help with a wide range of gut disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, functional bowel disorders, and constipation.

Bingxian Wang, Yu-Kang Mao, Caroline Diorio, Michael Pasyk, Richard You Wu, John Bienenstock, and Wolfgang A. Kunze. Luminal administration ex vivo of a live Lactobacillus species moderates mouse jejunal motility within minutes FASEB J. doi:10.1096/fj.09-153841

Courtesy of EurekAlert


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