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Gastrointestinal research studies for holistic treatments

Around the world over thousands of years, patients have received root-cause holistic treatment for their diseases with personalized
treatment, diet and lifestyle modification recommendations. Read the inspiring true stories of practitioners who heal people and who recovered
from their problems after gastrointestinal treatment at their clinics. Many have been generous to share their knowledge and experience for the benefit
of other holistic experts and patients alike. Many practitioners share their Case Studies and the healing powers of gastrointestinal and related therapies
as they heal people who benefited from our expertise.

See: Ayurvedic Remedies For Constipation

/ title=”Pancha Karma Therapy a Boon for Chronic Disease”>
Pancha Karma Therapy a Boon for Chronic Disease

September 2019

Pancha Karma Therapy: a Boon for Chronic Disease

Dr. Shekhar Annambhotla, B.A.M.S., M.D. (Ayurved -India),
RYT, CMT

In Ayurveda, Pancha Karma therapy is considered a complete,
holistic approach to the elimination of the root cause of each and every
chronic disease. Today, in the USA, 70% of deaths are due to chronic diseases
rather than infectious diseases. Acharya Charaka has described that imbalances
in Doshas can be pacified by Shamana therapies (palliation methods), such as
administration of herbo-mineral supplements, lifestyle changes, adopting
fasting, etc. but deep rooted imbalances in Doshas can be completely
eliminated by the administration of Shodhana therapies (purification methods),
such as Pancha Karma, including – Vamana,

Virechana, Niruha Basti, Anuvasana Basti and Nasya.

Acharya Charaka emphasized the importance of Panchakarma
as –

“Doshah Kadachith Kupyati Jitaa Langhana Pachanaih /

Jitaah Samsodhanardhe Tu Na Tesham Punarudbhavaha” //
(Charak Sutra Sthana 16-20)

The vitiated doshas are pacified by fasting and by taking
digestive herbo-mineral compound preparations, but when the imbalances of
doshas are stronger and deep seated, only through sodhana — purification
therapies — can doshic imbalances be removed from their deep roots.

The analogy has been narrated here as the unwanted weeds
and trees can be completely destroyed by removing them from their roots, but by
cutting the branches, the weeds and trees will regrow and become stronger than
the earlier disease.

During the purification and detoxification therapy, the
balanced dhatus are eliminated along with the vitiated doshas; hence, one
should remember to provide a nourishing diet with ghee, milk, and vegetable
soups to maintain proper energy. During panchakarma therapy, the impurities dislodge
from the cells and are flushed from the body.

Candidates for Panchakarma include those who show signs
and symptoms of indigestion, anorexia (lack of enthusiasm of meals), obesity,
anemia, heaviness, excessive mental and physical exhaustion, acne, pimples and
urticaria, pruritus, lack of inclination for work, laziness, fatigue, weakness,
foul odor of the body, lassitude, excessive production of kapha and pitta doshas,
sleeplessness or excessive sleep, drowsiness, impotency, lack of intelligence,
lack of clarity of mind and senses, inauspicious dreams, impaired energy and
strength, and loss of complexion, even though they may be taking a nourishing
diet.

Advantages of Panchakarma therapy include the following:
The vitiated Doshas are eliminated from the body through the gastrointestinal
system, digestion is improved, and metabolism is increased. Overall health is
restored, the sensory faculties are improved, and intelligence and complexion
become clearer.

Seasonal Panchakarma program –

• Late autumn to winter (approximately October to February) –
predominance of Vata Dosha, the importance is given to Basti (colon cleansing,
restorative) therapies.

• Midsummer to early autumn (approximately July to October) –
the predominance of Pitta Dosha, it is important to administer Virechana
(purging) therapies.

• Spring to early summer (approximately March to June) –
predominance of Kapha Dosha, the importance is given to Vamana (therapeutic
emesis) and Nasya therapy.

 

The following Panchakarma Therapies were adopted –

Poorva Karma (preparatory therapy)

• Ama pachana (administration of herbal preparations for about
1-2 weeks)

• Snehana –Bahya (external oleation) – self-massage with
herbalized oil and internal oleation (abhyantara snehana) with ghee

• Swedana – Sweating / sudation / fomentation therapy

 

Digestive (Ama pachana) tea –prepared with

• Cumin – 1 part, Ginger – ½ part, Fennel – 1 part, Cardamom – ½
part, Cinnamon – ½ part – 6 cups water boil for 5 minutes / drink several times
a day.

• Trikatu – 1-2 tablets / 3 times daily

 

Digestive and deep rooted Ama reduction –

• For Vata Prakriti persons – a combination of Chitrak – 1 part,
Haritaki – ½ part, Fennel – 1 part,

• For Pitta Prakriti persons – a combination of Avipathikara
churna – 1 part, Triphala – 1 part, Licorice -1 part, Fennel -1 part, Coriander
-1 part

• For Kapha Prakriti persons – a combination of Chitrak -1 part,
Musta -1 part, Ginger – ½ part, Licorice -1 part, Trikatu – ½ part

 

Snehana – Oleation

• Internal oleation – Administered ghee 2, 4, and 6 teaspoons,
respectively, for three consecutive days. People who are intolerant to ghee
were administered flaxseed oil in the same quantities with warm milk, soy milk
or rice milk.

• External oleation –Clients were advised to self-massage
regularly with Ojas Rejuvenation oil.

 

Swedana

• The candidates were put in the steam tent to provide complete
sweating, providing

Amalaki Kalka (paste of Phyllanthus emblica with rose water) or
coconut oil to protect excess heat to brain (Mastishka)

Pradhana Karma (Main actions) –

Vamana (therapeutic emesis) –

• It is highly recommend in imbalanced Kapha Dosha. For
candidates who are strong, Vamana Therapy with Madanaphala (Randia dumatorum)
fruit powder – 2 parts, Vacha (Acorus calmamus) root powder – 1 part and
Saindhava Lavana (Mineral salt) – 1 part, mixed with honey was administered
early in the morning on an empty stomach. After 15-20 minutes,

candidates were given Yastimadhu Jala (Licorice water) – 8-10 oz
to drink.

Virechana (therapeutic purgation) –

• This therapy is recommended for imbalanced Pitta Dosha and
removes excess pitta through increasing bowel movements. The purgative therapy
was administered with castor oil and TriDosha cleanse capsule – a combination
of Triphala, Haritaki, Cascaria, and Sonamukhi.

Basti Therapy (both Kashaya and Matra Basti) –

• Basti therapy is administered on alternative days for 5, 7, or
10 days according to the duration of Panchakarma therapy. For Kashaya basti,
different herbs were used for preparing Kashaya. We followed a specific method
of mixing Kashaya basti substance –

 

“Makshikam Lavanam Tailam Kalkam Kwatham” – In this procedure
first taking honey, mineral salt, sesame oil and kashaya are given. In some
specific cases, we have used

Kalka churna.

• For Matra basti, we administered Ashwagandha Bala oil, sesame
oil or specific therapeutic oils for specific disease conditions.

Nasya Karma –

• According to doshic imbalances, Rechana (eliminative) nasya
was provided. In some cases, we also provided Ardraka swarasa (fresh ginger
juice) with jaggary to eliminate excess Kapha Dosha from sinuses and nasal
passages.

Other supportive Panchakarma therapies –

• Netra Basti (eye therapies), Kati Basti (lumbar therapy), Hrit
Basti (Heart therapy), Nabhi Basti (Naval therapy), Shiro Basti, Shiro Dhara,
Shiro Pichu, and other therapies were provided as needed.

Panchakarma Results

Tables showing distribution of 80 subjects of Panchakarma
therapy

Age distribution of 80 Panchakarma subjects (Table: 1)

 

Age Number of subjects Percentage

20 – 30 years 12 15 %

30 – 40 years 14 17.5 %

40 – 50 years 28 35 %

50 – 60 years 18 22.5 %

60 – 70 years 8 10 %

Deha Prakriti (Physical constitution) Distribution of 80
Panchakarma subjects (Table: 3)

Deha Prakriti Number of subjects Percentage

Vata 2 2.5 %

Pitta 1 1.25 %

Kapha 4 5 %

Vata Pitta 8 10 %

Vata Kapha 11 13.75 %

Pitta Vata 13 16.25 %

Pitta Kapha 12 15 %

Kapha Vata 16 20 %

Kapha Pitta 10 12.5 %

Tridosha 3 3.75 %

Manasa Prakriti (Psychological constitution) Distribution of 80
Panchakarma (Table: 4)

Manasa Prakriti Number of subjects Percentage

Satvik 12 15 %

Rajasik 41 51.25 %

Tamasik 27 33.75 %

Sub Dosha Imbalance Distribution of 80 Panchakarma subjects
(Table: 5)

Sub Dosha Number of subjects Percentage

Prana Vata 52 65.0%

Udana Vata 24 30.0 %

Samana Vata 29 36.25 %

Apana Vata 34 42.5 %

Vyana Vata 15 18.75 %

Pachaka Pitta 38 47.5 %

Ranjaka Pitta 24 30.0 %

Sadhaka Pitta 59 73.75 %

Alochoaka Pitta 28 35 %

Bhrajaka Pitta 42 52.5 %

Kledaka Kapha 32 40 %

Avalambaka Kapha 14 17.5 %

Bodhaka Kapha 18 22.5 %

Tarpaka Kapha 12 15 %

Sleshaka Kapha 32 40 %

Dhatu (tissue) Imbalance Distribution of 80 Panchakarma subjects
(Table: 6)

Dhatu Number of subjects Percentage

Rasa (Plasma) 48 60.0 %

Rakta (Blood) 29 36.25 %

Mamsa (Muscle) 13 16.25 %

Medas (Adipose tissue) 56 70.0 %

Asthi (Bone) 19 23.75 %

Majja (Bone marrow) 12 15 %

Shukra (Reproductive tissue) 24 30 %

Agni (digestive fire) Distribution of 80 Panchakarma subjects
(Table: 7)

Agni Number of subjects Percentage

Sama – Balanced 13 16.25 %

Vishama – Irregular 33 41.25 %

Teekshna – Sharp 8 10 %

Manda – Dull 26 32.5 %

Koshta (Competence of stomach) Distribution of 80 Panchakarma
subjects (Table: 8)

Koshta Number of subjects Percentage

Mrudu – soft, supple 17 21.25 %

Madhyama – medium 25 31.25 %

Krura – rigid, tough 38 47.5 %

Diet and Pattern of Eating Habits Distribution among 80
Panchakarma subjects (Table: 9)

Diet Number of subjects Percentage

Vegan 12 15 %

Vegetarian including diary 23 28.75

Mixed (Veg + Non-Veg) 45 56.25 %

Pattern of eating habits

Regular 32 40 %

Irregular 48 60 %

Pancha Karma Therapies Distribution among 80 Panchakarma
subjects (Table: 10)

Name of Panchakarma Therapies Number of subjects Percentage

Snehana 80 100.0 %

Abhyanga 62 77.5 %

Vishesha 65 81.25 %

Udvartana 58 72.5 %

Swedana 80 100.0 %

Vamana 12 15.0 %

Virechana 80 100.0 %

Basti – Asthapana (Matra) 80 100.0 %

Basti – Niruha (Kashaya) 48 60.0 %

Nasya 72 90.0 %

Netra Basti 15 18.75 %

Kati Basti 21 26.25

Hrut Basti 19 23.75 %

Nabhi Basti 34 42.5 %

Shiro Basti 11 13.75 %

Shirodhara with Oil (Taila dhara) 74 92.5 %

Shirodhara with Takra (Takra dhara) 19 23.75 %

Shiro Pichu 25 31.25 %

Pizhichil 28 35.0 %

Gandoosha 14 17.5 %

Level of Improvement Distribution among 80 Panchakarma subjects
(Table: 11)

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

Health issue Complete improvement (100 %) Marked improvement (75
%)

 Moderate improvement

(50%) Mild improvement

(25 %) No improvement

(0%)

Digestion 32 (40.0) 21 (26.25) 15 (18.75 ) 8 (10.0) 4 (5 .0)

Sleep 15 (18.75) 24 (30.0) 18 (22.5) 16 (20.0) 7 (8.75)

Constipation 37 (46.25) 16 (20.0) 11 (13.75) 14 (17.5) 2 (2.5)

Clearance of

sinuses 12 (15.0) 18 (22.5) 23 (28.75) 16 (20.0) 11 (13.75)

Flexibility of

joints 17 (21.25) 20 (25.0) 17 (21.25) 18 (22.5) 8 (10.0)

Physical energy 22 (27.5) 13 (16.25) 15 (18.75) 20 (25.0) 10
(12.5)

Lightness of

body 12 (15.0) 14 (17.5) 20 (25.0) 22 (27.5) 12 (15.0)

Discomfort / pain 22 (27.5) 18 (22.5) 14 (17.5) 15 (18.75) 11
(13.75)

Dryness of skin 51 (63.75) 8 (10.0) 12 (15.0) 7 (8.75) 2 (2.5)

Fatigue 28 (35.0) 16 (20.0) 12 (15.0) 15 (18.75) 9 (11.25)

Circulation 18 (22.5) 22 (27.5) 18 (22.5) 14 (17.5) 8 (10.0)

Vision 12 (15.0) 15 (18.75) 16 (20.0) 18 (22.5) 19 (23.75)

Breathing pattern 14 ((17.5) 15 (18.75) 22 (27.5) 16 (20.0) 13
(16.25)

Cardiovascular

endurance 6 (7.5) 15 (18.75) 22 (27.5) 25 (31.25) 12 (15.0)

Gas, flatulence 29 (36.25) 17(21.25) 12 (15.0) 16 (20.0) 6 (7.5)

Complexion 21 (26.25) 18 (22.5) 16 (20.0) 13 (16.25) 12 (15.0)

Allergy 20 (25.0) 16 (20.0) 17 (21.25) 18 (22.5) 9 (11.25)

Immune system 16 (20) 22 (27.5) 14 (17.5) 18 (22.5) 10 (12.5)

Physical

endurance 22 (27.5) 12 (15.0) 15 (18.75) 17 (21.25) 14 (17.5)

Strength of spine 16 (20.0) 15 (18.75) 17 (21.25) 15 (18.75)
17(21.25)

Allergies 22 (27.5) 16 (20.0) 18 (22.5) 14 (17.5) 10 (12.5)

Migraine 23 (28.75) 18 (22.5) 21 (26.25) 13 (16.25) 5 (6.25)

Menstrual pain 25 (31.25) 16 (20.0) 14 (17.5) 15 (18.75) 10
(12.5)

Backache 29 (36.25) 17 (21.25) 14 (17.5) 12 (15.0) 8 (10.0)

Overall physical

wellness 19 (23.75) 20 (25.0) 18 (22.5) 14 (17.5) 9 (11.25)

PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS

Clarity of mind 26 (32.5) 16 (20.0) 18 (22.5) 12 (15.0) 8 (10.0)

Self awareness 15 (18.75) 26 (32.5) 18 (22.5) 13 (16.25) 8
(10.0)

Thought process 12 (15.0) 17 (15.0) 22 (27.5) 19 (23.75) 10
(12.5)

Mental energy 21 (26.25) 14 (17.5) 19 (23.75) 18 (22.5) 8 (10.0)

Meditation 19 (23.75) 17 (21.25) 18 (22.5) 19 (23.75) 7 (8.75)

Memory 12 (15.0) 26 (32.5) 16 (20.0) 14 (17.5) 12 (15.0)

Deep relaxation 21 (26.25) 16 (20.0) 21 (26.25) 15 (18.75) 7
(8.75)

Chronic stress 27 (33.75) 15 (18.75) 16 (20.0) 14 (17.5) 8
(10.0)

Relationship

with others 10 (12.5) 16 (20.0) 15 (18.75) 18 (22.5) 21 (26.25)

Connectedness of

mind, body, spirit 24 (30.0) 14 (17.5) 12 (15.0) 16 (20.0) 14
(17.5)

Inner harmony 26 (32.5) 15 (18.75) 16 (20.0) 11 (13.75) 12
(15.0)

Mental fatigue 29 (36.25) 14 (17.5) 17 (21.25) 12 (15.0) 8
(10.0)

Calmness of

mind 21 (26.25) 18 (22.5) 16 (20.0) 14 (17.5) 11 (13.75)

Creativity 18 (22.5) 14 (17.5) 19 (23.75) 16 (20.0) 13 (16.25)

Mental stamina 22 (27.5) 18 (22.5) 14 (17.5) 14 (17.5) 12 (15.0)

Self confidence 18 (22.5) 12 (15.0) 18 (22.5) 17 (21.25) 15
(18.75)

Positivity 22 (27.5) 14 (17.5) 16 (20.0) 12 (15.0) 16 (20.0)

Mental alertness 16 (20.0) 18 (22.5) 13 (16.25) 16 (20.0) 17
(21.25)

Concentration 19 (23.75) 15 (18.75) 16 (20.0) 18 (22.5) 12
(15.0)

Overall mental wellness 21 (26.25) 16 (20.0) 18 (22.5) 12 (15.0)
13 (16.25)

Figures in parenthesis indicate percentage.

 

Duration of Panchakarma Distribution among 80 Panchakarma
subjects (Table: 12)

Duration of therapy Number of subjects Percentage

5 days 48 60.0 %

7 days 24 30.0 %

10 days 8 10.0 %

Overall Improvement in Physical Health Distribution among 80
Panchakarma subjects (Table: 13)

Improvement Physical Health Percentage

Complete improvement 27.85 %

Marked improvement 21.80 %

Moderate improvement 20.75 %

Mild improvement 19.85 %

No improvement 9.75 %

Overall Improvement in Psychological Health Distribution among
80

Panchakarma subjects (Table: 14)

Improvement Psychological Health Percentage

Complete improvement 24.04 %

Marked improvement 20.17 %

Moderate improvement 23.32 %

Mild improvement 19.18 %

No improvement 13.29 %

Overall improvement in both physical and psychological health
among 80

Panchakarma subjects (Table: 15)

Improvement Psychological Health Percentage

Complete improvement 25.94 %

Marked improvement 20.98 %

Moderate improvement 22.03 %

Mild improvement 19.5 %

No improvement 23.04 %

 

 

Conclusion and Summary:

The highest number of subjects (35%) to undertake Panchakarma therapy in the present clinical study fell in the 40-50 years age group (Table 1). More females participated in the Panchakarma therapy (72%) as compared to male subjects (Table 2). In the present clinical study, 20% of subjects were Kapha Vata Deha Prakriti (Table 3) and 51% were Rajasik Manasa Prakriti (Table 4). 73% of subjects had Sadhaka Pitta imbalances, and 65% had Prana Vata imbalances noted in the pulses of subjects (Table 5). In the present clinical study, 70% of subjects had Medo Dhatu vitiation, and 60% has Rasa Dhatu (60%) vitiation (Table 6). We observed 41% of subjects with Vishama Agni, as depicted in Table 7 and also observed that 37% had Krura Koshta as mentioned in Table 8. Regarding diet – a mixture (non-vegetarian and vegetarian) is represented in the present clinical study (56%), and their eating habits are irregular (60%) (Table 9). Different Panchakarma and allied therapies were provided for the subjects, according to their individual needs (Table 10). Regarding their symptoms, large numbers of subjects were completely relieved of their symptoms – dryness of skin (63%), constipation (46%), digestion (40%), in physical symptoms and in psychological symptoms – chronic stress (33%) and mental fatigue (36%) (Table 11). A large number of subjects (60%) underwent only 5-day Panchakarma therapy, whereas only 10% subjects have undergone 10-day Panchakarma therapy (Table 12). If more subjects were to undergo 10, 14 or 21 days of Panchakarma therapy, we may expect a greater percentage of subjects to note complete relief from symptoms. We found about 27% complete improvement in physical symptoms and about 24% complete improvement in psychological symptoms (Tables 13 & 14). Approximately 25 % of subjects noted complete overall improvement, while 23% noted no overall improvement in their health issues. (Table 15)

About the author:

Dr. Shekhar Annambhotla, B.A.M.S., M.D. (Ayurveda), RYT, CMT, has been a dedicated International Ayurvedic  Specialist (Vaidya), consultant and educator since 1988. He began his eight-year course of study in Ayurvedic medicine at the age of 17, first at Nagarjuna University and then at Gujarat Ayurved University in India, where he earned his Doctor of Medicine in Ayurveda. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, West Indies and North America for seven years, practicing and teaching Ayurveda. He is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, a Certified Integrative Bodywork and Massage Therapist, and is also a faculty member of various Ayurveda schools throughout the USA. He serves on the Board of Directors for National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), USA and is Founding Director of Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA), USA. Dr. Shekhar lives in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania with his family.

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/ title=”The dietary histone deacetylase inhibitor sulforaphane induces human beta-defensin-2 in intestinal epithelial cells.”>
The dietary histone deacetylase inhibitor sulforaphane induces human beta-defensin-2 in intestinal epithelial cells.

October 2008

Antimicrobial peptides like human beta-defensin-2 (HBD-2) play an important role in the innate immune system protecting the intestinal mucosa against bacterial invasion. The dietary histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors sulforaphane (SFN) and butyrate have received a great deal of attention because of their ability to simultaneously modulate multiple cellular targets involved in cellular protection. In this study the influence of SFN and butyrate on HBD-2 expression as well as the molecular pathways involved in SFN-mediated induction of HBD-2 were scrutinized. Treatment of Caco-2, HT-29 and SW480 cells with SFN led to a time- and dose-dependent upregulation of HBD-2 mRNA expression as determined by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Moreover, HBD-2 protein production increased in response to SFN, measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Induction of HBD-2 was also observed in response to butyrate. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that the protein was localized in the cytosol. Coincubation of SFN with a vitamin D receptor (VDR), or an extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2 or a nuclear factor-kappaB inhibitor all reduced HBD-2 mRNA upregulation. In contrast, transfection of cells with a dominant-negative peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) mutant vector to inhibit PPARgamma wild-type action and inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling did not affect SFN-mediated upregulation of HBD-2 mRNA. Moreover, SFN induced the expression of VDR, PPARgamma and phosphorylated ERK1/2 but did not affect p38 MAPK activation. The data clearly demonstrate for the first time that the dietary HDAC inhibitor SFN is able to induce antimicrobial peptides in colonocytes. In this process HBD-2 expression is regulated via VDR, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase/extracellular-regulated kinase and nuclear factor-kappaB signalling.

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/ title=”Yogurt inhibits intestinal barrier dysfunction in Caco-2 cells by increasing tight junctions.”>
Yogurt inhibits intestinal barrier dysfunction in Caco-2 cells by increasing tight junctions.

January 2017

Chronic inflammation disrupts intestinal barrier function and may contribute to the pathology of obesity and other s. The goal of this study was to determine the mechanism by which yogurt improves intestinal barrier function. Caco-2 cells were differentiated on Transwell inserts and used as a model of intestinal barrier permeability. Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and flux of 4 kDa fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran (FD) and lucifer yellow (LY) were used as indicators of monolayer integrity and paracellular permeability. Immunofluorescence microscopy and real time quantitative polymerase chain were used to assess the localization and expression of tight junction proteins known to regulate intestinal permeability. Differentiated cells were treated with a vehicle control (C), inflammatory stimulus (I) (interleukin-1?, tumor necrosis factor-?, interferon-?, and lipopolysaccharide), or I and 0.03 g mL(-1) yogurt (IY). After 48 h, I reduced Caco-2 TEER by 46%, while IY reduced TEER by only 27% (P

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/ title=”Health benefits of fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium bifidum YIT 10347 on gastric symptoms in adults.”>
Health benefits of fermented milk containing Bifidobacterium bifidum YIT 10347 on gastric symptoms in adults.

March 2015

We conducted a preliminary open trial (trial 1) and a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial (trial 2) to examine how fermented milk containing the probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum YIT 10347 affects gastric and lower abdominal symptoms in adults taking no medication. In trial 1, subjects with or without gastric and lower abdominal symptoms ingested fermented milk containing B. bifidum YIT 10347 daily for 2 wk. In trial 2, subjects with gastric symptoms ingested fermented milk containing B. bifidum YIT 10347 (active preparation) or placebo daily for 2 wk, followed by crossover for 3 wk after a washout period. Before (baseline) and 1 and 2 wk after ingestion, subjects completed a questionnaire. In trial 1 (305 subjects), the prevalence of gastric and lower abdominal symptoms was 46 and 58%, respectively, at baseline. Ingestion of B. bifidum YIT 10347 significantly decreased the prevalence of gastric and lower abdominal symptoms from 45 to 33% at 1 wk and to 28% at 2 wk, and from 57 to 40% at 2 wk, respectively. In subjects with gastric symptoms at baseline, the average gastric symptom score per subject significantly decreased by 0.9 at 1 wk and 1.2 at 2 wk. In trial 2 (27 subjects), ingestion of the active preparation significantly decreased the average gastric symptoms score per subject by 1.0 at 1 wk and 1.1 at 2 wk, but ingestion of placebo milk had no effect. No side effects were reported by any subjects in either trial. We conclude that fermented milk containing B. bifidum YIT 10347 has the potential to provide health benefits by alleviating gastric symptoms in subjects taking no medication.

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/ title=”Effects of wheat germ agglutinin on human gastrointestinal epithelium: insights from an experimental model of immune/epithelial cell interaction.”>
Effects of wheat germ agglutinin on human gastrointestinal epithelium: insights from an experimental model of immune/epithelial cell interaction.

June 2009

Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is a plant protein that binds specifically to sugars expressed, among many others, by human gastrointestinal epithelial and immune cells. WGA is a toxic compound and an anti-diet therapyal factor, but recent works have shown that it may have potential as an anti-tumor drug and as a carrier for oral drugs. To quantitate the toxicity threshold for WGA on normal epithelial cells we previously investigated the effects of the lectin on differentiated Caco2 cells, and showed that in the micromolar range of concentrations WGA could alter the integrity of the epithelium layer and increase its permeability to both mannitol and dextran. WGA was shown to be uptaken by Caco2 cells and only approximately 0.1% molecules were observed to cross the epithelium layer by transcytosis. Here we show that at nanomolar concentrations WGA is unexpectedly bioactive on immune cells. The supernatants of WGA-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) can alter the integrity of the epithelium layer when administered to the basolateral side of differentiated Caco2 cells and the effects can be partially inhibited by monoclonal antibodies against IL1, IL6 and IL8. At nanomolar concentrations WGA stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines and thus the biological activity of WGA should be reconsidered by taking into account the effects of WGA on the immune system at the gastrointestinal interface. These results shed new light onto the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of gastrointestinal disorders observed in vivo upon dietary intake of wheat-based foods.

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/ title=”Bacillus clausii effect on gene expression pattern in small bowel mucosa using DNA microarray analysis.”>
Bacillus clausii effect on gene expression pattern in small bowel mucosa using DNA microarray analysis.

August 2005

Background:
Probiotics are widely used for the cure or prevention of several clinical conditions. However, clinical decisions need to be substantiated by an analysis of the complex bacteria-host interplay in the intestinal lumen. AIMS: To identify the gene expression pattern induced by Bacillus clausii in the intestinal mucosa of healthy individuals.
METHODS:
Six male patients (mean age 38+/-5 years) affected by endoscopically confirmed mild oesophagitis were treated for one month with esomeprazole, and were randomly selected to receive or not B. clausii (groups I and II, respectively). Duodenal biopsies were taken pre and post-treatment to identify the modification of gene expression, using the GeneChip Human U133A array. To validate the microarray analysis, real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of five target genes was performed.
Results:
After B. clausii administration, a total of 158 and 265 genes were up and downregulated, respectively. Quantitative PCR confirmed the microarray data. B. clausii mainly affected the expression of genes involved in immune response and inflammation, apoptosis and cell growth, cell differentiation, cell-cell signalling, cell adhesion, signal transcription and transduction. CONCLUSIONS: Our data represent the first global analysis of B. clausii effects on the gene expression profile in normal intestine, and provide the basis to identify the mechanisms by which these agents interact with the host and exert their beneficial effects. Future studies are needed to clarify the B. clausii-induced gene pattern in the clinical disorders in which probiotics have proved to be effective.

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