Home Gut Health Natural compounds to treat Colitis and Ulcerative Colitis: From science.

Natural compounds to treat Colitis and Ulcerative Colitis: From science.

Natural compounds to treat colitis: From science.

Natural compounds such as serrapeptase, aloe vera, boswellia, butyrate, whey protein and probiotics all have research to support their effectiveness with Colitis and Ulcerative Colitis and other Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

What is Colitis?

Colitis is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease that causes inflammation in the gut wall, which can result in sores or ulcers (Ulcerative Colitis) in particular, affecting the lining of the colon. Symptoms may build slowly, or suddenly (1).

Symptoms of Colitis

These include bloating, pain, cramping, nausea, diarrhoea, fever, weight loss and even rectal bleeding. The disease can vary by severity, or by how much of the colon is affected (2).

Flare ups do occur, but ulcerative colitis can be prevented, and even cured.

Ways to tackle Colitis naturally, from research

1. Butyrate and colitis

In May 2020, Stamford University School of Medicine scientists reported that they had linked colitis to the loss of a major and important group of gut microbes – the family Ruminococcaceae. Ordinarily, this family is a major member in a healthy human adult gut. But research showed that it was significantly depleted in those with colitis. As a result, bile acids that normally were converted to secondary bile acids remained unconverted resulting in much lower levels of deoxycholic acid and lithocholic acid in humans with colitis (and also IBS).

When these secondary bile acids are missing, an inflammatory immune response occurs, damaging the gut lining. The scientists then conducted experiments in 3 groups of mouse models. Supplementation with lithocholic acid and deoxycholic acid lowered the inflammatory attacks on the gut linings in the mice. 

Other studies (3) have shown that the Ruminococcaceae family increases numbers if the human eats a high soluble fibre diet – for example, oats, pulses (legumes), nuts and seeds, vegetables and psyllium. This is known to increase numbers of the different bacteria, and has been shown to help immunotherapy drugs work better and increase survival times.

A study from China, (4) showed that another metabolite of the family Ruminococcaceae, from soluble fibre, Butyrate, could alleviate colitis in mice. Several studies using sodium butyrate and/or ursodeoxycholic acid have already taken place.

As long ago as 2003, researchers found increasing butyrate from the breakdown of oat bran by bacteria in the gut, could quieten ulcerative colitis (5). It was recommended as a maintenance strategy. Butyrate is a known anti-inflammatory that has positive effects with epithelial cells in the gut wall.

However, both hydrogen and hydrogen sulphide seem to block the action of butyrate. These gases can be made from certain bacteria, particularly archaea, and especially in the small intestine. SIBO is a common cause. And butyrate presence and action is known to be impaired in cases of Ulcerative Colitis. Another cause of this is simply the already present localised inflammation.

Meat, poultry, eggs and dairy, and alcoholic beverages are rich in sulphur; and you should avoid these for a few days. But the fact is, you need sulphur and many types of foods – vegetables, fruits and grains have some. So cutting sulphur is not a viable, long-term route to take. Desulfovibrio (D. piger, D. desulfuricans), Desulfobacter, Desulfobulbus and Desulfotomaculum are the bacteria most likely to be H2S generators. Others are E. coli, Salmonella, Enterobacter, Klebsiella,Clostridia,  Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, and Rhodococcus. It’s a group too large to deal with.

So, perhaps the best route forward is to combine butyrate with a high soluble fibre diet, and to take Lactic Acid Bacteria (probiotics, Apple Cider Vinegar, unpasteurised cheese and/or raw milk kefir), that will make the gut more acidic and in part help to regulate pathogens, along with Artemisinin pills (400 mg before bed for 10 days). At the same time you should add some of the following anti-inflammatory compounds. 

2. Serrapeptase and colitis

Several studies have shown that this natural compound can benefit people with IBS and/or colitis (6). A review of the Therapeutic benefits (7) talks of its anti-inflammatory benefits and inhibition of COX-2. It can work on its own or in conjunction with a small aspirin and enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin from Digestive enzyme supplements.

In a 2014 study (8), researchers reviewed the poor mucosal membrane system involved in ulcerative colitis. Serrapeptase reduced the activity of the disease, C-Reactive protein levels and the inflammation marker myeloperoxidase, reduced glutathione depletion, and prevented lipid peroxidation and spleen enlargements. Researchers concluded that serapeptase showed promising anti-inflammatory benefits, particularly in situations where NSAIDs did not help.

3. Boswellia and colitis

More evidence of anti-inflammatory benefits in Ulcerative Colitis is found with Boswellia. 2014 research from Brazil showed that Boswellia serrata use produced significantly lowered levels pf lipid peroxidation, nitric oxide and iNOS and showed improvements in tissue injury. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects were also shown (9).

In a 2001 study (11) of just 20 patients, where 300 mg of boswellia was given 3 times a day, found 14 patients in remission after 6 weeks. In research with the prescription drug Sulfasalazine, the remission rate was only 4 out of 10.

4. Aloe Vera and colitis

In 2004, a randomised, placebo controlled clinical trial showed the anti-inflammatory benefits of Aloe Vera gel with ulcerative colitis (10). Aloe Vera helps clear mucus from the gut wall and has antibacterial action. Taking 100 ml of natural gel for 4 weeks twice a day, produced clinical improvements and even clinical remission in most patients.

5. Whey protein and Colitis

Whey protein contains a great number of peptides and immune-globulins which boost the immune system. It also contains all essential amino acids and a vast array of minerals. The best whey protein products are non-hormonal and organic.

Low-temperature processed whey protein concentrate (LWPC) contains peptides shown to reduce symptoms of Inflammatory bowel disease, IBD, including IBS in mice (12) after colitis was induced in the mice. They have also been shown to help in a number of ‘auto-immune’ diseases including Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus because the peptides stimulate certain gut bacteria and prompt a healing surge. The peptides in whey concentrate also help improve recovery of body weight.

Oral intake of whey prompted the epithelium cells to become healthier and lymphocyte infiltration was reduced. The whey also increased mucin and reduced inflammation in the colon.

Importantly the genes that related to immune responses were down regulated and the expression of interferon gamma receptor 2 (Ifngr2) and guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs), normally increased in IBD, was decreased after the mice were fed whey protein concentrate, suggesting that the signaling of these cytokines was suppressed.

It was concluded that whey concentrate had a number of significant benefits for people with various inflammatory bowel diseases.

6. Other

Other anti-inflammatory compounds known to have helpful effects in the gut are  Marshmallow gum, extra virgin olive oil, fish oils, ginger and peppermint oils.

There has also been limited research on Probiotics, particularly strains of the two main Lactic Acid bacteria families, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Go to: How to heal your gut

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  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353326
  2. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/ulcerative-colitis
  3. https://www.canceractive.com/article/high-fibre%20diet%20important%20for%20best%20results%20with%20immunotherapy 
  4. Sodium Butyrate Alleviates Mouse Colitis by Regulating Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis – Xiujing Dou et all; Animals (Basel) 2020 Jul; 10(7): 1154; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7401615/   
  5. Increasing fecal butyrate in ulcerative colitis patients by diet: controlled pilot study – Claes Hallert et al; Inflam Bowel Dis  2003 Mar;9(2):116-21. – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12769445/#affiliation-1 
  6. The truth about Serrapeptase – https://chriswoollamshealthwatch.com/your-illness/general-health/the-truth-about-serrapeptase/ 
  7. Serratiopeptidase: Insights into the therapeutic applications; Biotechnol Rep (Amst);  2020 Dec; 28: e00544. Swati B Jadhav et al; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7585045/ 
  8. Rajinikanth B., Venkatachalam V.V., Manavalan R. Investigations on the potential of serratiopeptidase- a proteolytic enzyme, on acetic acid induced ulcerative colitis in mice. Int. J. Pharm. Pharm. Sci. 2014;6(5):525–531
  9. Boswellia serrata has beneficial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in a model of experimental colitis; Renata Minuzzo Hartmann et al; Phytother Res; 2014 Sep;28(9):1392-8.  
  10. Randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled trial of oral aloe vera gel for active ulcerative colitis.  Langmead, L., et al. Alimentary pharmacol 19.7 2004; 739-747.
  11. Effects of gum resin of Boswellia serrata in patients with chronic colitis;  Gupta, I., et al; Planta Medica 2001 Jul;67(5): 391-5
  12. 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