DDW 2008 News—Intestinal Subclinical Inflammation and Bacterial Overgrowth in IBS

This study used the breath test to detect signs of bacterial overgrowth in adults with IBS. Forty percent of subjects with IBS had a postive breath test for bacterial overgrowth, which was not significantly higher than healthy controls, who had a rate of 31%. However, when these patients were tested for the presence of subclinical gut inflammation using stool calprotectin, which detects the byproduct of white blood cells (an indirect indicator of inflammation in the gut), researchers found that half of those patients with a positive breath test had postive stool calprotectin. The research team concluded that although there is no clear evidence that bacterial overgrowth exists in IBS subjects when compared to healthy controls, these patients may host special strains of bacteria in their digestive tracts that are different from the bacteria hosted by healthy subjects. Researchers reasoned that these special bacteria may be capable of creating subclinical inflammation in the gut. This conclusion does not seem to be based on strong data; therefore, future studies are needed on this topic before any definite statement can be issued on the role of bacteria in IBS. (DDW Abstract S1274, May 18, 2008, N. Ross, et al.)
2008-05-29 04:23:16

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