Posted on 13 October 2020
Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.
Why is this research important: In a report from 2017, it was estimated that over three million people suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) across Northern America and Europe. IBS represents a group of intestinal conditions that cause extended inflammation in the digestive tracts.
Dietary alterations are believed to be an important factor in the prevalence of IBS due to the impact on the populations of bacteria that live within the gut, otherwise known as the gut microbiome. The western diet has, in the past 30 or so years, seen an influx of products such as fizzy drinks and processed foods containing high levels of fructose, a natural sweetener also known as ‘fruit sugar’. It is believed that this may be a contributing reason to the prevalence of IBS in the western world.
What did the researchers do: In an article soon to be published in the Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology journal, researchers fed mice a diet high in fructose to determine what effect this had on the gut microbiome and the incidence of IBS affecting the large intestine, otherwise known as colitis.
Key takeaway(s) from this research: The study found that…
“Excess dietary fructose consumption has a pro-colitic effect that can be explained by changes in the composition, distribution and metabolic function of resident enteric microbiota”.
This demonstrates the importance of diet-microbe interactions in IBS, and offers strong support for reducing fructose intake in IBS patients.