Research shows a variant of E. coli worsens Crohn’s; localised inflammation in the gut wall produces metabolites that feed and nourish the variant, dubbed AIEC, promoting its ability to worsen Crohn’s. How might you reduce this?
In a multi-year study of the role of E. coli gut bacteria in Crohn’s disease (1) researchers showed that the localised microenvironment of the ilium exhibited inflammation, oxidative stress and heightened levels of Enterococcus, creating mucosal chemicals, including amino acids, fucose and glutathione, which promoted the growth and virulence of this particular E.coli. The bacterium uses these for energy, and growth, stress resistance and, importantly, movement towards the gut lining. The researchers established that these chemicals turned a helpful, commensal bacterium, into a harmful pathogen.
Not all E coli are equal. Here we are referring to a particular type of E. coli, called adherent and invasive E.coli (AIEC), which is known to stick to and invade epithelial cells in the gut lining and replicate in the defender macrophages (white blood cells). This occurrence has been found in 21-63 per cent of Crohn’s patients.
Inflammation and cytokines play an important role in this Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
We have shown in an article on Colitis and Ulcerative Colitis that research evidence supports the use of butyrate, a compound normally produced by certain helpful gut bacteria, and other anti-inflammatory compounds such as Boswellia (the edible form of Frankincense), Serrapeptase, Aloe Vera, probiotics and, especially, whey protein concentrate. While all the others are primarily anti-inflammatory, whey reduces inflammation specifically by boosting the immune response through its content of peptides and immunoglobulins and lowering damaging cytokines. It is also very helpful in corrective weight loss, and the researchers concluded it may well be a positive benefit in all Inflammatory Bowel Disease (2).
Usually, the herb artemisinin is effective against many types of E. coli, as is Lycopene.
Previously we covered research from Cornell in 2007 showing that E coli was involved in Crohn’s; then in 2016 from Brian Coombes at McMaster showing that people who had suffered food poisoning just once in their lives were more likely to have AICE in their GI tract even a decade or more afterwards.
Go To: The cause of Crohn’s
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- Mucosal metabolites fuel the growth and virulence of E. coli linked to Crohn’s disease; Shiying Zhang et al; JCI Insight; April 12 2022
- Jayatilake, S., K. Arai, N. Kumada, Y. Ishida, I. Tanaka, S. Iwatsuki, T. Ohwada, M. Ohnishi, Y. Tokuji, and M. Kinoshita. 2014. The effect of oral intake of low- temperature-processed whey protein concentrate on colitis and gene expression profiles in mice. Foods 2014 Jun 13;3(2):351-368