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Crohn’s Disease: Understanding the Gut Biome and its Implications in Patients with Crohn’s Disease

abdomen-1698565_640As we now know, every person’s digestive system has a unique combination of fungus, bacteria, viruses and protozoa. In a small study* researchers compared bacteria and the fungus Candida tropicalis in the digestive tracts of people with Crohn’s disease and their findings to first degree relatives in northern France and Belgium. The results were also compared with four families in same area who did not have Crohn’s disease.

In addition to the Candida tropicalis, two type of bacteria, E. coli and Serratia marcescens, was present in the individuals with Crohn’s disease. The presence of the fungus and bacteria was also higher in family members of the patient. Test-tube research results showed that the three micro-organisms work together to form a biofilm that sticks to parts of the intestines causing inflammation producing Crohn’s disease symptoms.

Professor Mahmoud Ghannoum commented, “Furthermore, we found strong similarities in

the ‘gut profiles’ of the Crohn’s affected families which were strikingly different from the Crohn’s free families. Of course, other factors such as shared diet and environment contribute to these similarities as well.”

Dr. Wendy Edwards, research manager at Crohn’s and Colitis, UK, stated “Although the sample size was small in this study, it highlighted an interesting area for further research.” In my own practice, the recommendation for probiotics was often found to help most people who suffered from digestive issues. With all the new knowledge being published, it’s clear that a healthy biome with a properly balanced environment of fungus, bacteria, viruses and protozoa leads to a happier gut improving many other bodily functions.

*journal mBio. Study led by a team from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Reported in Medscape.com Peter Russell: 9/29/2016

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