Coronado Biosciences is developing a helminthic therapy treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis that may open the therapy up to mainstream medicine.

Helminthic therapy is the treatment of autoimmune diseases or disorders via parasitic organisms, usually worms of some sort. Why helminthic therapy works rests on the hygiene hypothesis, which suggests that modern hygiene habits at an early age may be reducing the ability for our immune system to develop initially & later regulate itself. The idea is that without early exposure to certain pathogens, the immune system becomes reliant on allergic and/or inflammatory responses to common pathogens or irritants. Continue reading “Coronado Biosciences Developing Helminthic Therapy For Crohn’s Disease” »

BioLineRx announced that it has licensed an experimental immunotherapy drug from Yissum Research Development Company Ltd which is the business side of Hebrew University of Jerusalem(Israel).

The drug is currently known as “BL-7040” & BioLineRx has plans to further develop & commercialize the drug worldwide. BL-7040 is an experimental drug that is still in testing, but it has already passed Phase Ib & Phase IIa clinical trials. Officially it won’t be known how well BL-7040 works until it’s subjected to Phase IIb clinical trials. However, Prof. Hermona Soreq sounds optimistic on the drug’s efficacy:

The efficacy of BL-7040 in these [earlier] studies was shown to be highly significant and comparable to that of dexamethasone, a steroid used routinely for IBD that has multiple side effects. Continue reading “BioLineRX’s TLR-9 Immunotherapy For Inflammatory Bowel Disease” »

Today we’re taking a look at Nature’s Way Psyllium Husks capsules.

Nature's Way Psyllium Husk Front LabelPsyllium husks come from the seeds of the psyllium plant. Psyllium husks are hydrophilic meaning they are attracted to water & readily absorb it. When saturated with water psyllium husks produce mucilage which is a thick gooey substance. Mucilage creates a film over mucous membranes, such as those found in the intestines. This film can help with the passage of stool as well as lowering inflammation by reducing the chances of irritation.

Psyllium husk is not digestible so it can be thought of as a “bulking agent”, meaning it will help add size to stool potentially increasing the chances of properly formed stool, which can aid with proper bowel movements.Psyllium husk is often advertised as a laxative, but it’s not a stimulant & can be used on a daily basis for those who want to try adding fiber to their their daily diet or treatment regimen. Fiber supplementation can be helpful for things like chronic diarrhea or constipation related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. Continue reading “Review: Nature’s Way Psyllium Husks” »

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases can affect not just your family members, but also your family pet.

Happy Beagle PuppyMississippi State University is reporting that, “TaTonka Gold”, their living dog mascot had to be euthanized due to a number of health problems, one of which was Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This reminded me of an article I saw a few weeks back: “Treating inflammatory bowel disease in dogs” from the Washington Post’s website. That article involved a pet owner writing in about their dog’s digestive problems, the answer they received back was too look into the possibility that their dog has IBD. Continue reading “Inflammatory Bowel Disease Can Affect Cats & Dogs” »

Researchers at Utah State University are working hard to map the digestive tract’s ecosystem.

Utah State University is moving forward with further research into the different types of bacteria that live in our digestive system & how the foods we eat impact them. The study, called “Gut Check”, will be inviting residents of Cache County in Utah to participate. Participants help by answering a health survey, getting basic blood tests, keeping a detailed food diary(including pictures) for 4 days & then finally submitting a stool sample. In return they get free lab work & $20 buckaroos. The bacteria within the stool sample will be genetically analyzed to find out what type it is. Once all the stool samples are analyzed the data will then be reviewed looking for relationships between food eaten & the bacteria present. Continue reading “Utah State University’s Enterotype Research With “Gut Check”” »

Advanced techniques in stem cell therapy may lead to new treatment options for those with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

MultiStem is a stem cell treatment therapy currently in development by Athersys in partnership with Pfzier. Athersys is currently targeting MultiStem as a treatment for a variety of illnesses such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease but also things like recovery from stroke, heart problems & transplant rejection. Multistem starts by harvesting stem cells from the bone marrow of a donor. Due to the technique that Athersys uses the donor does not have to be a tissue match for the recipient like in some other stem cell treatments. Supposedly it is also easy to mass produce MultiStem as a single donor can produce hundreds of thousands or even millions of doses. Continue reading “Novel Stem Cell Treatments For Inflammatory Bowel Disease” »

Those who develop Clostridium difficile along with their Inflammatory Bowel Disease may have a harder time treating it with Vancomycin.

A review study of 101 patients who had an Inflammatory Bowel Disease of one kind or another found that Clostridium difficile was more likely to occur in those treated with the antibiotic vancomycin compared to those treated with another antibiotic, metronidazole or a combination of both. Vancomycin goes by the brand name Vancocin while metronidazole is also known as Flagyl.

The review study showed a recurrence rate of almost 40%(39.4%) in those who took vancomycin compared to 14.5% in those who took metronidazole & 13.3% in those who took a combination of both. No obvious differences were found between patients & the vast majority(89%) were on immunosupressive drugs of some sort. Steroid use does seem to play a role as reinfection rates were approximately twice as high, 32% vs 15.7%,  for those receiving a steroidal treatment. Continue reading “Clostridium difficile Recurrence Higher For IBD Patients Treated With Vancomycin” »

Research led by Fang Yang at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center has uncovered some interesting information which could lead to new treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases like Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.

The researchers focused in on proteins that are secreted by the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG bacteria. This bacteria is commonly found in yogurts. The proteins they isolated were given generic names such as p75 & p40. Researchers narrowed their focus to protein ‘p40’. P40 was found to activate the epidermal growth factor receptor which is responsible for sustaining living cells & growing new ones. Activation of this receptor appears to have helped prevent both cell death & inflammation caused by weakening of the intestinal tracts “tight junctions” which prevent microbes & toxins escaping into the bloodstream. Continue reading “Yogurt Protein Could Be Helpful For Inflammatory Bowel Diseases” »

Canadian Researchers from the University of Toronto have narrowed down a key protein which may be partially to blame for triggering Crohn’s Disease.

The proteins in question are known as “nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain proteins” or NOD for short. The study looked specifically at the NOD2 gene which acts as a sort of “bacterial sensor” for the gut. It helps the immune system respond to threats by sending out signaling molecules(cytokines) which trigger an inflammatory response. The cytokines  seen in this study are Interleukin(IL) 17 & IL-22. Interleukin 23 has also been linked to Crohn’s Disease. The research suggests that the NOD2 gene miscommunicates with IL-17 & IL-22 impeding the bodies ability to fight off bacterial infection. Continue reading “Immune System Proteins Key In Crohn’s Disease” »

Athletes, who are usually thought to be the epitome of health, often deal with the devastating impacts of digestive illness.

While our favorite sports heroes may seem superhuman many of them must face diseases like Diabetes, Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome,  Inflammatory Bowel Diseases & other ailments just like everyone else.  While it can be embarrassing to talk about digestive diseases, many athletes do step forward & share their story, helping to gain awareness & understanding. Continue reading “Major League & College Baseball Players Deal With IBS & IBD” »

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