Good Bacteria Battle IBS
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new study out of McMaster University in Canada reveals beneficial bacteria -- known as "probiotics" -- can minimize the ill effects of stress-induced irritable bowel syndrome.
The researchers arrived at that conclusion after studying probiotics in mice who were placed into a stressful situation. About half the mice were fed drinking water fortified with probiotics, while the other half drank normal water. All were then subjected to stress sessions wherein they were placed on a platform surrounded by warm water. For comparison purposes, the mice also underwent a sham stress session where they were placed on a similar platform that was not surrounded by warm water.
Results reveal the stressful situation caused increased levels of harmful bacteria in the gut, which can cause irritable bowel syndrome. Harmful bacteria were also noted in nearby lymph nodes. Mice that were fed the probiotic bacteria, however, showed fewer signs of the harmful bacteria. The investigators believe the good bacteria help hold the bad bacteria at bay.
They write, "Stress is a common experience of daily living, and the influence of stress on clinical symptoms and outcomes of chronic intestinal disorders are well documented." They believe these findings indicate that probiotics may provide a novel approach for the management of stress induced intestinal dysfunction.
SOURCE: Gut, published online April 24, 2006