Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affects more than 3.5 million people worldwide. Inflammatory bowel disease manifests itself in severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and other symptoms. IBD is particularly common in Western countries, and research shows that its incidence in children has been increasing steadily since the 1980s.
Many scientists suggest that the main cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in developed countries is the Western diet, which includes high-sugar and high-calorie foods. Processed sugary foods are known to increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, but the role of sugar in the development of inflammatory bowel disease remains controversial.
American biologists, led by Shahanshah Khan of Southwestern Medical Center at the University of Texas in Dallas, conducted laboratory experiments on mice and found that rodents fed high-sugar foods were more likely to develop colitis than mice fed a regular diet.
Inflammatory processes in the intestines of mice began three days later, after they began to receive food high in sugar.
The authors found that the polysaccharides altered the composition of the gut microbiome, primarily by supporting the bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila, which acts to degrade the subunit – high molecular weight glycoproteins, the main component of mucus produced by intestinal epithelial cells.
These bacteria were previously thought to have anti-inflammatory effects, and their use was planned to combat obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, the results of the study showed that the increase in the number of Akkermansia muciniphila destroyed the protective mucous layer that lines the inner walls of the intestine, allowing other bacteria to enter. Mucosa. This causes colitis.
The scientists indicated that active enzymes that break down mucus are commonly found in the gut of patients with ulcerative colitis to support their conclusions.
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