A mouse study revealed there is a mechanism wherein gut bacteria credits the immune system’s job in decreasing inflammation and this was conducted by researchers led by a group from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS-RCAI) in Kanagawa, Japan. The mechanism itself functions via a fatty acid known as butyrate, which comes out when the bacteria digests dietary fiber. The researchers also believe their findings make a case for using butyrate to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease.
The current study also intimated an alternative explanation, a molecular mechanism in which butyrate affects the production of cells that tone down the effect of other cells by decreasing inflammation response.
The researchers also observed that by having the genes switched (“epigenetic switching”) the fatty acid caused the immune system to produce more regulatory T cells in the gut. An observation was also made by the researchers that inflammatory signs enhanced after they were given butyrate in their diets and that the guts of mice with colitis increased in regulatory T cells,
Dr. Hiroshi Ohno, the study leader of the Laboratory for Epithelial Immunobiology at RIKEN, also commented that butyrate is a natural and safe therapy; in addition to that, it is inexpensive, which makes it very appealing, affordable alternative most particularly to the patients and the society as well.
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