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article imageImmune system can promote good gut health

By Tim Sandle     Jan 26, 2015 in Health
Part of the body’s immune system called MyD88 is responsible for promoting a healthy colony of good bacteria. The more "good" bacteria, the better the digestive health. A new study has explored this further.
Many people suffer from uncomfortable abdominal cramping and diarrhea that come with inflammatory bowel disease. The condition may stem from an imbalance with the species of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
In a new research study using mice, scientists have shown that mice deficient for a component of the immune system — a protein called MyD88 — have a skewed bacterial community in the intestines. Here there are less beneficial bacteria. In the mice, it was found that this imbalance means that they were more susceptible to contracting a severe inflammatory bowel disease -like symptoms.
It is possible, however, for this imbalance to be returned to equilibrium. Trials using fecal transplants from healthy donors alleviate inflammatory bowel disease symptoms in mice during a series of experiments.
Based on the data, researchers speculate that the reason why some people suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases is because of mutations in genes that are part of a MyD88-controlled pathway. Loss of MyD88 affects the range of gut bacteria because it disrupts production of an antibody called IgA. The antibody affects which types of bacteria, and how many, are allowed to inhabit the gut.
The research suggests that fecal transplantation could help to ameliorate disease in these people. Further trials would be needed to demonstrate this. In people, direct fecal transplants, which transfer gut microbiota from healthy donors, have shown great promise in treating a range of diseases.
The first wave of fecal bacteriotherapy used multiple infusions (such as, by enema) of bacterial fecal flora. Since then researchers have developed a slightly-more palatable pill form.
The findings have been published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe. The research paper is headed “MyD88 Signaling in T Cells Directs IgA-Mediated Control of the Microbiota to Promote Health.” 
More about autgo immune disease, fecal bacteria, Feces, Bacteria, Crohn's Disease
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