A New Environmental Risk Factor for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - WASHINGTON - Jun 26, 2018 - An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 243, Issue 10, June, 2018)  (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1535370218782139) identifies a new environmental risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study, led by Dr. Clint Allred in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, reports that dietary exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA), a compound used to make some forms of plastics, increases mortality and worsens symptoms in a pre-clinical model of IBD.

IBD is a complex collection of diseases that include ulcerative colitis and Chrohn’s disease. IBD is caused by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Patients with IBD suffer from severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss and can require lifelong medications as well as surgery. While the causes of IBD have not yet been determined, environmental exposures such as diet, smoking, infections, altered gut microbiome and toxins/pollutants are risk-factors for IBD development and relapse. Endogenous estrogen, a hormone responsible for the development and maintenance of female body characteristics, is also a risk factor for IBD. Although BPA can act as an estrogen, its effects on IBD are not known. Because humans are exposed to large levels of BPA through the consumption of canned foods and use of polycarbonate plastic containers, discerning the effects of BPA exposure on IBD is a high priority.

In the current study, Dr. Allred and colleagues examined the effects of BPA exposure on IBD in a pre-clinical mouse model. BPA treatment increased mortality and worsened disease symptoms when compared to untreated groups. BPA treatment also increased the levels of several compounds that drive inflammation in the colon. Finally, BPA treatment decreased fecal levels of compounds (tryptophan and 5-hydroxy indole 3-acetic acid) that reduce inflammation in the colon. Jennifer DeLuca, a graduate student in the Nutrition and Food Science Department and first author of the article, said that “This is the first study to show that BPA can negatively impact gut microbial amino acid metabolism in a way that has been associated with IBD.”

Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology & Medicine, said “Allred and colleagues have provided evidence in an acute dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis mouse model that bisphenol-A may be associated with increased colonic inflammation and inflammatory bowel disease. These findings warrant future mechanistic studies.”

Experimental Biology and Medicine is a journal dedicated to the publication of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences. The journal was first established in 1903. Experimental Biology and Medicine is the journal of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine. To learn about the benefits of society membership, visit www.sebm.org. For anyone interested in publishing in the journal, please visit http://ebm.sagepub.com/.

Source : Experimental Biology and Medicine

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