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Friday, August 5, 2011

HEALTH & COLON: Sound health depends on minority microbes!

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IANS, The Hindu / WASHINGTON, August 3, 2011.

A one—hundredth of one percent of total microbes that inhabit the colon, a section of the large intestine, may be minor in number but are fundamental for health, a research says.

The study is the first to sample these or any other microbes at specific places in the colon.

It was led by Rex Gaskins, genomic biology professor, University of Illinois, and Eugene Greenberg, gastroenterologist, Carle Foundation.

Colon bugs are known for fermenting undigested food, degrading and disposing of their by—products. Their absence can derail human health, Greenberg said.

A 2006 study by Gaskins demonstrated that hydrogen sulphide, a major by—product of such bacterial fermentation, damages the DNA and may lead to colon cancer, reports the Microbial Ecology Journal.

Although there is a genetic angle as well, evidence suggests that inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are triggered by microbial imbalance, according to an Illnois statement.

Common Crohn’s symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss, poor appetite, fever, night sweats, rectal pain, and rectal bleeding.

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