Salivary Peptide Protects Against E. Coli Diarrhea

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Esther Bullitt, Ph.D. Associate Professor Dept. of Physiology & Biophysics Boston University School of Medicine Boston, MA  02118-2526

Dr. Bullitt

Esther Bullitt, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Dept. of Physiology & Biophysics
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston, MA  02118-2526 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response:      We know that saliva has properties that allow us to swallow easily, and to help prevent gum disease and infections in the mouth. But is that really the only use for the 1-2 liters (1-2 quarts) of saliva we produce every day?  We decided to test whether a component of saliva, Histatin-5, can help prevent diarrheal disease (Traveler’s Diarrhea by Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)) that is caused by bacteria commonly found in contaminated food and water.

ETEC are bacteria that have hundreds of thin hair-like fibers on their surface, called pili. These bacteria bind specifically to the surface of the gut using these pili, and the bacteria need to stay bound long enough to initiate disease. Studies by Mike Levine’s group in the 1970’s showed that pili are necessary for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) to cause disease. No adhesion, no disease.

One aid to remaining bound is the unwinding and rewinding of the pili. These helical fibers can unwind up to 8 times their original length, acting as shock absorbers during fluid flow.   Continue reading

Survey Finds Americans Routinely Ignore Over-the-Counter Pain Medication Labels

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Charles Melbern (Mel) Wilcox, MD, MSPH Director of the division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology University of Alabama-Birmingham

Dr. Wilcox

Charles Melbern (Mel) Wilcox, MD, MSPH
Director of the division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
University of Alabama-Birmingham 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this survey? What are the main findings?

Response: Nearly every person experiences pain at some point in their life – for many, the pain is acute and occasional, but for others, the pain is chronic and can be debilitating. Research shows that more than 25.3 million Americans suffer from daily pain and, every year, consumers purchase more than $20 billion per year on over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines. In my work with the American Gastroenterological Association, we set out to explore the behaviors, beliefs, and misunderstandings that Americans have when it comes to OTC pain medicines. We surveyed 1,015 U.S. adults and 251 gastroenterologists to gain insight on how they were approaching pain management and OTC pain medicine use.

The survey found that Americans are routinely ignoring OTC pain medicine labels and are not consulting their health-care professionals about their pain before taking OTC pain medicines. As a direct result, gastroenterologists are noticing their patients experiencing complications and unintentional overdose symptoms. They see an average of 90 overdose cases each year, about two a week, due to OTC pain medicine overdose.

Ninety percent of gastroenterologists believe their patients require more and better education on how to use OTC pain medicine safely. They find that patients are not fully understanding the harms associated with taking too much. When asked why patients take more than the recommended dose, Americans say that they are confident in their ability to manage their medication (32 percent) or they wanted to feel better faster, mistakenly thinking more medicine would be the solution (73 percent).

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Peppermint Oil Based IBgard® Found Efficacious In Some Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Mixed Bowel Habits

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brooks D. Cash, M.D., A.G.A.F., F.A.C.G., F.A.S.G.E. Professor of Medicine and Chief of the USA Gastroenterology Division Director, Motility and Physiology Service University of South Alabama Mobile, Alabama

Dr. Cash

Brooks D. Cash, M.D., A.G.A.F., F.A.C.G., F.A.S.G.E.
Professor of Medicine and
Chief of the USA Gastroenterology Division
Director, Motility and Physiology Service
University of South Alabama
Mobile, Alabama 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) among patients with IBS-M (mixed diarrhea and constipation) is a challenging and difficult to diagnose and treat sub-type of IBS. Patients with IBS-M represent a dissatisfied group of IBS patients due to the lack of proven therapies. It is an area of high unmet medical need.

Among adult patients with IBS, a sizeable proportion suffers from IBS-M with prevalence rates estimated to be between 44 to 66 percent of IBS sufferers[1],[2],[3]. IBS-M patients carry a heavy burden, characterized by bouts of constipation interrupted by diarrhea and vice versa. Physicians find IBS-M challenging to manage because of the difficulty in avoiding ‘overshoots’ when diarrhea management can turn into constipation and vice versa.[4]  Continue reading

Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Lower In Rural Households

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Eric I. Benchimol, MD, PhD, FRCPC Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, University of Ottawa Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Ottawa, ON Canada

Dr. Benchimol

Eric I. Benchimol, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, University of Ottawa
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Ottawa, ON Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We found that living in a rural household (compared to urban households) was protective against developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). People living in a rural household were around 10% less likely to get IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis).

While our finding that IBD was more common in people living in urban households was similar to other studies from around the world, there were a number of new, interesting findings:

  1. Living in a rural household was most protective against pediatric-onset IBD. In fact, it was not protective in IBD with onset between ages 18-39, 40-64, or 65 and older at diagnosis.
  2. Living in a rural household in the first 5 years of life was highly protective against IBD later in life.

These findings indicate the importance of early life environmental exposures in the subsequent development of IBD. This effect has been seen in the inflammatory bowel disease literature when examining other environmental risk factors, particularly early-life antibiotic use and air pollution. These risk factors seem to have the strongest effect of increasing the risk of childhood-onset IBD, and not adult-onset disease.

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FDgard® Demonstrated Rapid Relief of Symptoms in Functional Dyspepsia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

William D. Chey, M.D., F.A.C.G.</strong> Director, Division of Gastroenterology Michigan Medicine Gastroenterology Clinic Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dr. Chey

William D. Chey, M.D., F.A.C.G.
Director, Division of Gastroenterology
Michigan Medicine Gastroenterology Clinic
Ann Arbor, Michigan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Functional Dyspepsia (FD), which is persistent or recurring upper abdominal pain, burning, or fullness with no known organic cause, is a relatively common and often frustrating condition. The precise causes of this condition are unknown, but problems with mild inflammation, leakiness of the lining of the gut, overactive sensation, and abnormal contractions of the upper digestive tract are thought to play a role in many patients. FD often reoccurs over time and it is an area of high unmet medical need.

Functional Dyspepsia can have a significant impact on quality of life. Currently, off-label medications are used to treat FD, as there is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved pharmaceutical product for the condition.

An estimated 62 percent of FD patients suffer from Epigastric Pain Syndrome (EPS, which is epigastric pain or burning), while an estimated 73 percent of FD patients suffer from Postprandial Distress Syndrome (PDS, which is early fullness, pressure and heaviness); 35 percent suffer from both.

In this study, we compared the efficacy of a unique encapsulated formulation of caraway oil and l-Menthol, the primary component in peppermint oil), (COLM-SST) to placebo in patients taking their usual Functional Dyspepsia medications. Caraway oil contains carvone and d-limonene, which have gastroprotective and prokinetic effects; l-Menthol has anti-inflammatory, prokinetic, analgesic and gastroprotective effects.

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Researchers Search for Probiotic Factors To Reduce Risk of Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Hatim A. Hassan Section of Nephrology, Department of Medicine The University of Chicago Chicago, IL 60637

Dr. Hatim A. Hassan

Dr. Hatim A. Hassan MD PhD
Section of Nephrology, Department of Medicine
The University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Nephrolithiasis is the second most prevalent kidney disease in USA after hypertension, with a rising prevalence and complications including advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end stage renal disease (ESRD). It remains a major source of patient discomfort and disability, lost working days, and health-care expenditure, with an annual economic cost approaching $10 billion. Hyperoxaluria is a major risk factor for kidney stones (KS), and 70-80% of KS are composed of calcium oxalate. Urinary oxalate is an important determinant of supersaturation, and the risk for stone formation is affected by small increases in urine oxalate. Oxalate is a metabolic end product that cannot be further metabolized and is highly toxic. The mammalian intestine plays a crucial role in oxalate homeostasis, by regulating the amount of absorbed dietary oxalate and providing an avenue for enteric oxalate excretion. Anion exchanger SLC26A6 (A6)-mediated intestinal oxalate secretion plays a critical role in preventing hyperoxaluria and calcium oxalate kidney stones (COKS). Inflammatory bowel disease patients have a significantly increased risk of kidney stones due to the associated enteric hyperoxaluria. Obesity is a risk factor for KS and obese stone formers often have mild to moderate hyperoxaluria. Hyperoxaluria is also emerging as a major complication (developing in > 50% of patients) of bariatric surgery for obesity. With the rising prevalence of obesity and increased utilization of bariatric surgery, it is expected that the incidence of hyperoxaluria and related COKS (including the associated cost burden) will continue to increase at a significant rate. Primary hyperoxaluria (PH) is an inherited disease in which there is endogenous oxalate overproduction, which leads to recurrent KS and/or progressive nephrocalcinosis, ESRD, as well as significant hyperoxalemia, systemic oxalosis and premature death. Systemic deposition of calcium oxalate (oxalosis) leads to bone disease, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, skin ulcers, erythropoietin refractory anemia, and digital gangrene. The only treatment known to fully correct the underlying metabolic defect is liver transplantation or combined kidney-liver transplantation once ESRD develops. In addition, significant hyperoxalemia is also seen in ESRD. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in ESRD patients, and a recent report raised the possibility that the ESRD-associated hyperoxalemia might contribute to this increased risk. Lowering serum oxalate might improve cardiovascular outcomes in ESRD patients if these findings are confirmed.

Unfortunately, there is currently no specific therapy that effectively lowers urine and/or plasma oxalate level(s), and the risk of recurrent COKS, nephrocalcinosis, oxalate nephropathy, ESRD, & systemic oxalosis remains substantial in the absence of treatment.

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How Do Patients Decide Among Biologics for Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Christopher V. Almario, MD, MSHPM</strong> Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Christopher V. Almario

Christopher V. Almario, MD, MSHPM
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education
Los Angeles, CA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Recent drug approvals have increased the availability of biologic therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the growing number of biologics has also made it more difficult for both patients and healthcare providers to navigate treatment options and to ultimately choose the most appropriate therapy.

In this study, we wanted to examine patient decision-making surrounding IBD biologic therapies using conjoint analysis, which is a form of tradeoff analysis that determines how respondents make complex decisions by presenting them with competing product profiles. Here, we quantified the relative importance of 9 biologic therapy attributes (e.g., how the medicine works, how the medicine is received, long-term effectiveness, side-effect profile, etc.) in the decision-making process.

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Ingestible Sensor Demonstrates Positive Effects of Cinnamon

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Distinguished Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh RMIT's School of Engineering Australia

Prof. Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh

Distinguished Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh
RMIT’s School of Engineering
Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

1- The development of “swallow-able gas sensor capsules”. This was the final test on animals and focused on the measurement of a food supplement (cinnamon) to show the extraordinary capability of this noninvasive tool that will revolutionise the future of Gastroenterology and Food Sciences

2- That cinnamon can improve the health of the stomach, and hence our overall health, by adjusting the acidity and enzymatic secretion in the stomach. So the good effect of cinnamon is not just a grandparent old advice – It is real.

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