Food and antibiotics may change microorganisms in gut, causing IBS

January 27, 2017

A recent review of research suggests that changes to the microorganisms (microbiota) in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract may be a cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The review article is published in the American Journal of Physiology—Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

IBS is common—up to 20 percent of middle-aged North Americans suffer from IBS and chronic bowel disorder characterized by abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea or constipation or both. The disorder has been thought to be caused primarily by a combination of , environmental factors and genetics.

A research team from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., analyzed studies about gut microbiota and IBS. This review led the team to make new observations about the development of the disease. Among the findings:

  • Diet can change the makeup of bacteria in the GI tract, potentially contributing to symptoms in patients with IBS;
  • Antibiotic use, which can disrupt gut microbiota is associated with IBS;
  • Changes in the gut microbiota may influence the ability of the GI tract to contract to move waste through the system; and
  • Changes in the can impair communication networks between the immune, nervous and endocrine systems, predisposing people to IBS symptoms.

The researchers also highlight data suggesting that emotional stress can change the shape and function of microorganisms in the GI tract. The correlation between physiological function of the digestive system and the risk of developing IBS is important because it allows for new treatment options in the future. "Overall, the outlook is optimistic, and we now have the necessary tools and the knowledge as we embark on developing effective microbiota targeted therapies for IBS," wrote the authors.

Explore further: Study provides clues to improving fecal microbiota transplantation

More information: Yogesh Bhattarai et al. Irritable bowel syndrome: a gut microbiota-related disorder?, American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology (2017). DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.00338.2016

Related Stories

Study provides clues to improving fecal microbiota transplantation

December 20, 2016
Results from a placebo-controlled trial provide a strategy for improving fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. The study, published online this week in mBio, an ...

What is the role of the gut microbiome in developing Parkinson's disease?

June 23, 2015
In recent years, an important Parkinson's disease (PD) research focus has been on gut-related pathology, pathophysiology, and symptoms. Gastrointestinal dysfunction, in particular constipation, affects up to 80% of PD patients ...

Diet, the gut microbiome, and colorectal cancer: are they linked?

December 9, 2016
Recent evidence from animal models suggests a role for specific types of intestinal bacteria in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). If a microbial imbalance in the gut could actively contribute to CRC in humans, dietary-based ...

Antibiotic use in early life disrupt normal gut microbiota development

January 26, 2016
The use of antibiotics in early childhood interferes with normal development of the intestinal microbiota, shows research conducted at the University of Helsinki. Particularly the broad-spectrum macrolide antibiotics, commonly ...

Rat study shows gut microbes play a role in colon cancer susceptibility

July 13, 2016
The microscopic organisms that live in our gut do more than help us digest food. A new study in rats bolsters a growing body of evidence that the complex mix of microorganisms found in the gut, known as gut microbiota, could ...

Recommended for you

Australian researchers in peanut allergy breakthrough

August 17, 2017
Australian researchers have reported a major breakthrough in the relief of deadly peanut allergy with the discovery of a long-lasting treatment they say offers hope that a cure will soon be possible.

Genetic variants found to play key role in human immune system

August 16, 2017
It is widely recognized that people respond differently to infections. This can partially be explained by genetics, shows a new study published today in Nature Communications by an international collaboration of researchers ...

Study identifies a new way to prevent a deadly fungal infection spreading to the brain

August 16, 2017
Research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered a way to stop a deadly fungus from 'hijacking' the body's immune system and spreading to the brain.

Biophysics explains how immune cells kill bacteria

August 16, 2017
(Tokyo, August 16) A new data analysis technique, moving subtrajectory analysis, designed by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology, defines the dynamics and kinetics of key molecules in the immune response to an infection. ...

How a nutrient, glutamine, can control gene programs in cells

August 15, 2017
The 200 different types of cells in the body all start with the same DNA genome. To differentiate into families of bone cells, muscle cells, blood cells, neurons and the rest, differing gene programs have to be turned on ...

Scientists identify gene that controls immune response to chronic viral infections

August 15, 2017
For nearly 20 years, Tatyana Golovkina, PhD, a microbiologist, geneticist and immunologist at the University of Chicago, has been working on a particularly thorny problem: Why are some people and animals able to fend off ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.