New Discovery Offers Hope for Crohn’s Disease

Exciting new research in the medical journal MBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology, offers hope for sufferers of the debilitating illness known as Crohn’s Disease.

Crohn’s is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that involves inflammation of the lining of the bowels and the resulting symptoms of severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, and sometimes even life-threatening complications. Approximately 565,000 Americans suffer with this debilitating condition but little has been known to date to help understand what causes the disease and how to treat it.

According to the new research, a fungus (Candida tropicalis) along with two bacteria (E. coli and Serratia marsescens), interact in a complex interplay between each other and genetic factors of the person suffering from the disease. The new discovery suggests that this interaction along with the specific fungus and bacteria may be at the root cause of this difficult-to-treat illness. Knowing this causal factor for Crohn’s disease may offer hope for new treatments.

Earlier research had linked the disease to E. coli bacteria, but this new study advances our understanding of the condition and how the bacteria interact with the Candida fungus. This new study is the first to identify Candida tropicalis and S. marsescens as being involved.

As part of the study, researchers analyzed stool samples from 20 patients with Crohn’s disease along with 28 healthy patients from families who have family members with Crohn’s disease. They also assessed an additional 21 patients from four families who did not have relatives with Crohn’s. These various healthy individuals allowed the researchers to explore possible genetic links to the condition. They found the fungus and two bacteria consistently in high numbers among the patients with Crohn’s while the remaining healthy patients did not have significant numbers of these microbes regardless of the genetic link to family members with the disease.

The scientists also conducted further tests to explore the interplay between the bacteria and the fungus. They found that the organisms produced a slimy layer of microorganisms that adhered to the intestines and may be the reason for the gastrointestinal inflammation involved in Crohn’s disease. While the research is quite new, it does suggest a hopefulness of finding new treatments that address the fungal and bacterial infections along with the inflammation-causing slime they create in the intestines.

Probiotics may offer some hope in the treatment of the fungal and bacterial infections. Research in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics concluded that “vast potential exists for manipulating the gut microbiota for therapeutic effect, such as use of probiotics” in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease.

Related:

Top Vegan Sources of Probiotics
A Guide to Cutting Sugar Out of Your Diet
High Sugar Consumption Linked to Breast Cancer

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.

110 comments

Stephanie s
Stephanie Yabout a year ago

Wonderful news.

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Stephanie s
Stephanie Yabout a year ago

Wonderful news.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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federico bortoletto

Grazie.

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william Miller
william Miller2 years ago

thanks

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Richelle R.
Richelle R2 years ago

I guess I am still confused. Is it a disease or an infection caused by bacteria & fungus?

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Joanne p.
Joanne p2 years ago

Ty

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Philip Watling
Philip Watling2 years ago

This is exciting news...

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