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Certain fibers of residues from the production of potato starch and sugar may be able to give patients with ulcerative colitis a better treatment and course of the illness. The disease cannot yet be cured, but it is hoped that in the future doctores can reduce length and severity of the outbreaks of the disease or prolong the inactive state by means of specific dietary changes. It concludes Louise Kristine Vigsnæs from the National Food Institute in her PhD Thesis.

The disease ulcerative colitis (Colitis ulcerosa, UC), affects every year approx. 500 people in Denmark.
 

Beneficial lactobacilli
 

Louise Kristine Vigsnæs has tested whether the fibers of residues from the production of Potato starch and sugar can be used to stimulate the growth of beneficial lactic acid bacteria in the intestine.

Lactic acid bacteria are important for us to maintain a healthy digestive system l and thereby also a healthy immune system. The human digestive system is occupied by a variety of types of bacteria, which are either a permanent part of the system, or added through the diet.. One of the functions of the lactic acid bacteria in the intestine is to maintain a healthy balance and prevent an inflammatory condition.

Fibers helps lactic acid bacteria
 

The Danish scientist analyzed feces of both patients with ulcerative colitis and from healthy individuals.

- Patients with ulcerative colitis have a different bacterial composition in the intestine than healthy people. The patients had far fewer of the beneficial lactic acid bacteria compared to healthy subjects, and the lactic acid bacteria in patients had a reduced ability to develop and grow in the intestinal mucus layer, says Louise Kristine Vigsnæs from the National Food Institute in a press release and she continues:

- In the lab we added specific, well-defined fibers for stool samples. Here it turned out, that in particular the growth of beneficial lactobacilli increased when the fiber was present. This may indicate that patients with ulcerative colitis may benefit from eating a product with such fibers to strengthen the immune system.

Read Role of Intestinal Microbiota in Ulcerative Colitis- Effects of Novel Carbohydrate Preparations here

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