Bifidobacteria plus prebiotic improve inflammation in ulcerative colitis

June 10, 2005

Ulcerative colitis is an acute and chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Several organisms have been linked to the disease. Rectal biopsies were performed on both healthy subjects and those with ulcerative colitis and a comparative bacterial analysis was performed. Both groups had complex bacterial communities; however, the patients with ulcerative colitis had significant reductions in their bifidobacterial numbers. A combination of a FOS prebiotic with bifidobacterium or a placebo was then given to 18 patients with active ulcerative colitis for one month in a random manner. The bifidobacteria-prebiotic mixture reduced the level of inflammation in the intestines as seen in a drop of inflammatory provoking immune messengers in a rectal mucosal biopsy. The study is published in the April 2005 Supplement to the British Journal of Nutrition.

Plant Sterols reduce LDL-cholesterol in both diabetics and nondiabetics

Fifteen nondiabetics and 14 type 2 diabetics were placed on a controlled diet and then given 1.8 grams a day or placebo in a randomized fashion for 21 days. They then took a 28 day break from the supplementation and at that point were crossed over either to placebo or plant sterols, which ever one they had not taken in the first part of the study. The plant sterols decreased LDL-cholesterol by 15.1% in diabetics and by 26.8% in nondiabetics. The study is published in the June 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

All NSAIDs may be cardiotoxic (toxic to the heart)

This analysis was performed to compare the risk of heart attack due to the use of NSAIDs versus COX 2 inhibitors. The research included 86,349 subjects without a heart attack compared to 9218 patients who suffered a first time heart attac between the years 2000 and 2004 from 367 medical practices. Vioxx, the drug removed from the market due to the higher incidence of stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure, increased the rate of heart attack by 32% compared to no use within the past 3 years, diclofenac, also known as Voltaren, increased the risk of heart attack by 55% if currently used, and ibuprofen increased the risk by 24% with current use. Naproxen seemed to increase the risk also, possibly by 27%. All of the other NSAIDs tested may also increase the risk of heart attack. The analysis is published in the June 11th, 2005 issue of the British Medical Journal.