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Probiotic reduces abdominal pain study finds




The probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM has powerful painkilling properties in gut when administered orally according to research published today.

The amount of research into probiotic bacteria and the resulting knowledge of their effects on human health has increased immensely over the past decade. The findings published today in Nature Medicine, that Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM has powerful analgesic effects comparable to morphine, add to the already long list of health benefits attributed to "friendly bactria".

The researchers from Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) and Danisco, a food technology firm, demonstrated for the first time that the microbiology of the intestinal tract influences visceral pain perception, knowledge that could be of great importance for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal conditions.

The team found that when they put intestinal epithelial cells in contact with a variety of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, a strain patented by Danisco, induced a significant exppression of certain opioid and cannabinoid receptors that regulate pain. Through this mechanism oral administration of the probiotic exerts a painkilling effect in the intestines.

Dr. Pierre Desreumaux and colleagues, from INSERM in Lille, France says "Modulation of intestinal flora may be a promising, safe and relatively inexpensive new treatment for abdominal pain, a prominent symptom of irritable bowel syndrome, which affects 20% of the general population."

With this in mind Danisco intends to seek selected partners from the pharmaceutical, dietary supplement and food industries to develop commercial applications for the probiotic.

The company currently markets Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM under than trade name HOWARU™ Dophilus. Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM is one of the world’s most tested probiotic strains. Extensive scientific research has proven its gut health benefits as well as its long-term stability. It has the ability to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract and strongly adheres to the intestinal mucosa. It is also the only probiotic bacteria commercially available with a fully sequenced annoted genome.

This latest research is good news for the millions of IBS sufferers seeking relief from abdominal pain. This probiotic preperation may offer an effective and relatively cheap treatment in the very near future.


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