Fiber Takes on Stress
Greater fiber intake may reduce stress by increasing production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), a study by Irish researchers found.
Gut bacteria produce SCFAs, and high-fiber foods stimulate that process, according to a news release about the findings. Feeding SCFAs to mice lowered their levels of stress and anxious behavior.
The study, in The Journal of Physiology, also found that SCFAs can reverse stress-related “leakiness” in the barrier between the gut and other parts of the body. Leakage permits bacteria, germs and undigested bits of food to pass through the gut wall, causing persistent inflammation.
“There is a growing recognition of the role of gut bacteria and the chemicals they make in the regulation of physiology and behavior,” says Professor John F. Cryan, corresponding author on the research. “The role of short-chain fatty acids in this process [has been] poorly understood up until now. It will be crucial that we look at whether short-chain fatty acids can ameliorate symptoms of stress-related disorders in humans.”
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Linked to MS Development
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is among a number of disorders that MS patients were more likely to have experienced during the five years prior to exhibiting clinically recognized signs of MS, scientists at the University of British Columbia have discovered.
The findings could aid early diagnosis of MS, paving the way to more timely treatment and limiting the harm the disease can cause to the spinal cord and brain, state the researchers, whose findings were published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal.
IBS was almost twice as common among people who went on to develop MS, they found. MS patients were also more likely to have been treated for nervous system disorders and to have visited a psychiatrist. They experienced fibromyalgia at more than thrice the normal rate, and migraine headaches and mood or anxiety disorders were also significantly more common.
Study: Treatment for Barrett’s Early Neoplasia Effective
Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is a safe, effective treatment for Barrett’s early neoplasia, according to a multicenter study published in GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
The procedure focuses on cellular changes related to Barrett’s esophagus. The study analyzed outcomes for 46 patients who had undergone ESD to treat high-grade dysplasia, early adenocarcinoma or both.
The rate of removal of all affected tissue in one piece — en bloc resection — was 96 percent with ESD. Curative resection was achieved for 70 percent of patients. Of the latter group, 100 percent were found to be in complete remission at median follow-up of 11 months.
Four adverse events — three involving bleeding and one involving perforation — occurred within 48 hours of the procedure. Seven additional patients developed esophageal strictures. All of these conditions were treated endoscopically, according to researchers.