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Thursday, June 10, 2010

DDW: Prebiotics Won't Relieve Crohn's

No surprise here.
Prebiotics aren't effective in active Crohn's disease, researchers said here.
Different from probiotics, which are actual bacteria, these prebiotic carbohydrates enhance the presence of indigenous bacteria in the gut.

But in a randomized controlled trial, there was no difference in the number of patients who had a clinical response between those on prebiotics or those on placebo, James O. Lindsay, MD, of Barts and the London in the U.K., and colleagues presented during a poster session at Digestive Disease Week here.

"We didn't see any differences, and there were more side effects with prebiotics," Lindsay told MedPage Today. "[Prebiotics] are less effective in active disease."

Research has shown that intestinal microbiota drive the inflammation associated with Crohn's. So previous studies have looked at probiotics to see if these would alleviate the disease. But Lindsay said these studies were "generally all negative."

Probiotics simply add bacteria into the gut that may not be native to a patient. So Lindsay and colleagues hypothesized that if Crohn's patients were given prebiotics -- which are essentially carbohydrates that induce changes in gut bacteria -- their natural microflora would be enhanced.
It is also unsurprising that people contunue to buy this crap.


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