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UC and gut bacteria: Could missing microbes hold the key?


New research suggests the cause for ulcerative colitis can be found in your gut microbiome.

If you have UC, you’ve probably been told it’s an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system, which normally defends against invading pathogens (such as disease-causing viruses), instead attacks the colon or rectum, resulting in chronic inflammation. Recently though, scientists have begun to wonder whether something else is going on. What if there is another piece to the UC puzzle? What if ulcerative colitis is a disease that doesn’t just mess with your gut, but is caused by your gut—or specifically, the absence of certain bacteria in it?

If that sounds all kinds of crazy to you, it’s understandable. Like most people, you probably associate bacteria with disease and infection—so the less you have, the better. But actually, the human body harbors trillions of microbes that typically exist in a state of harmony, and many of them are beneficial to your health. In recent years, it’s become clear that among the myriad nooks and crannies in your body where bacteria hang out, those in your gut—known as the gut microbiome—play an outsized role in your health. And that includes, it turns out, the risk for chronic diseases such as ulcerative colitis (UC).

Read UC and Gut Bacteria: Could Missing Microbes Hold the Key? by Jeanine Barone.
Posted on: May 4 2020

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