It's a well-known fact that probiotics are good for you - they help with weight-management, lower blood pressure and are also recommended for those with Type 1 diabetes. So it's not surprising when new research tells us that probiotics are good for a sluggish gut. But what's interesting is how.Scientists say that daily probiotics hold the key to treat inflammatory disorders of the gut. They contain the good kind of bacteria that is extremely beneficial for digestion and enhances defensive action by the cells that line the gut. Sridhar Mani, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University says that "Intestinal bacteria secrete a wide variety of chemicals known as metabolites. These bacteria and their metabolites were known to influence the intestinal epithelium's integrity."To test this theory, scientists experimented on mice and found that absorption of a specific bacterial by-product is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the single-cell layer. It is also known as the intestinal epithelium and is responsible for keeping intestinal bacteria and their toxins inside the gut away from the rest of the body. Any kind of harm to this layer could expose a person to a host of diseases."By adding probiotics in the form of IPA-producing bacteria to the intestine or by administering IPA directly, we may be able to prevent or treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and a wide range of other disorders that occur when the intestinal epithelium has been compromised," Mani explained.This approach could be replicated for other health problems as well. The kinds that occur when intestinal epithelium breaks down, like certain forms of liver disease, diabetes, asthma, allergies, obesity and heart disease.With inputs from IANS
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