Probiotics as a Promising Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
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Treatment of chronic inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is difficult due to the ambiguity surrounding their precise etiology. Complex interaction of genetic, microbial and environmental factors leads to sustained activation of the mucosal immune system resulting in active inflammation. Despite the efficacy of conventional therapy, significant side effects can occur, highlighting the need for novel treatment approaches to IBD. Since gut microflora appears to play a significant role in IBD, manipulation of its composition and activity by administering beneficial bacteria - probiotics, has been identified as a potential therapeutic option. Probiotic bacteria are able to modify and improve the intestinal environment and subsequently reduce the severity of intestinal inflammation associated with IBD. Clinical evidence suggest that probiotics can maintain remission in Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) but there are no convincing reports on the effectiveness in patients with more severe active forms of IBD. This review will explore various mechanisms how probiotics may affect IBD and summarize the current knowledge regarding the role of probiotics in IBD.
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