HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessStudy shows a new promising way to stop constipation

Study shows a new promising way to stop constipation

Published on

Despite the fact that many people suffer from digestive disorders on a regular basis, such as chronic constipation, we are still baffled as to what causes the vast majority of them.

When we eat food, our gut detects it and begins to move it along our digestive track, but the mystery has always been how.

Now, a new study from Flinders University has uncovered that Piezo2, a touch-sensing protein that was the subject of a Nobel Prize in 2021, is found not only in our fingers but also in our stomach, with its presence likely playing a major role in constipation. This research was recently published in Gastroenterology.

“Our research identified Piezo2 in cells that line the human digestive tract, allowing them to sense physical stimuli, such as touch or pressure, that would occur when food is present. The cells then respond by releasing serotonin to stimulate gut contractions and push the food along,” explains Lauren Jones, lead author.

Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius, two international researchers, were given the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine last year for their work on touch and temperature receptors, which included the discovery of Piezo2, which is now recognized to be important for perceiving light touch on human skin.

The Flinders research team also observed that the levels of Piezo2 in the stomach diminish with age, and that when the protein was eliminated only from gut serotonin cells, gut motility in mice slowed, resulting in constipation.

According to the scientists, this could be a contributing factor to age-related constipation and may offer a therapy option.

“Age-related constipation affects 1 in 2 adults over the age of 80, whilst constipation generally affects almost everyone at some point throughout their life,” adds Ms. Jones.

“This research provides the building blocks for both further research and the development of highly specific treatments to reduce the impacts of constipation.”

While more research is needed to conclusively link Piezo2 to constipation, the authors claim that the study is a significant step forward in our understanding of gut physiology, revealing new targets for the therapy of digestive problems.

“More specifically, we now have the potential to create treatments that are taken orally and only directly impact these cells that line the gut, therefore significantly reducing side effects typically seen with many of the current medications,” says Ms. Jones.

Source: 10.1053/j.gastro.2022.01.043

Image credit: Getty

You were reading: Study shows a new promising way to stop constipation

Latest articles

Aging: This Is What Happens Inside Your Body Right After Exercise

The concept of reversing aging, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has...

Immune-Boosting Drink that Mimics Fasting to Reduce Fat – Scientists ‘Were Surprised’ By New Findings

It triggers a 'fasting-like' state In a recent study, scientists discovered that the microbes found in...

Gun Violence in America: What They Don’t Talk About at the Debate

Some of the less discussed impacts of gun violence in six major U.S. cities...

This Might Be a Better Way to Age-proof Your Eyes and Reduce AMD Risk, According to Optometrist

According to expert, this supplement can absorb blue light, protect the highly sensitive cells...

More like this

Aging: This Is What Happens Inside Your Body Right After Exercise

The concept of reversing aging, once relegated to the realm of science fiction, has...

Immune-Boosting Drink that Mimics Fasting to Reduce Fat – Scientists ‘Were Surprised’ By New Findings

It triggers a 'fasting-like' state In a recent study, scientists discovered that the microbes found in...

Gun Violence in America: What They Don’t Talk About at the Debate

Some of the less discussed impacts of gun violence in six major U.S. cities...