by Carla Murez
Health Day Reporter
FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Researchers believe they have discovered a link between lower bacterial diversity in the gut microbiome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Typically, “more than 10,000 microorganisms live in the human gut,” said study co-author Dr. Jung Ok Shim, professor of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Korea University College of Medicine in Seoul.
To investigate this, the researchers combined their own dataset with nine other published datasets involving a total of 576 IBS patients and 487 healthy “control” patients.
what did they find People with IBS have a lower diversity of gut bacteria than healthy people, Shim said.
Abundance levels of 21 specific bacteria also differed between IBS patients and healthy controls, the study authors note, although these findings were not statistically significant.
The findings were published online Jan. 18 in microbial spectrumJournal of the American Society for Microbiology.
The study demonstrates that this disturbed gut bacterial community “is associated with IBS, but that doesn’t mean the relationship is causal,” Shim said in a Society news release. “Functional studies are needed to demonstrate whether changes in the gut microbiome contribute to the development of IBS.”
IBS is a common condition that causes bloating, diarrhea, stomach pain and cramps. Its cause is unknown and there is no effective treatment.
“Based on epidemiological studies of IBS patients, alterations in the gut microbiota have been proposed as one of the possible causes of IBS,” the researchers wrote. “Acute bacterial gastroenteritis can cause chronic, asymptomatic, low-grade intestinal wall inflammation sufficient to alter neuromuscular and epithelial function.”
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more information on IBS.
Source: American Society for Microbiology, Press Release, January 19, 2023