New Study Says This Diet Can Be Used As a Treatment Strategy for Patients With IBD
For people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), eating a lot of green veggies and broccoli sprouts may help ease their symptoms and make their quality of life better, according to a study done on mice.
The findings were reported in mSystems, an American Society for Microbiology publication.
The study examined the relationships between mice and their immune systems, the consumption of broccoli sprouts, the microbes that live in the Crohn’s disease-affected gut, and the process by which the microbes convert an inactive component of the broccoli sprouts into an anti-inflammatory compound in the gut using an interleukin-10-knockout (IL-10-KO) mouse model. Given the anti-inflammatory metabolites that broccoli sprouts naturally contain, they also aimed to find out whether and how much a diet high in sprouts reduces Crohn’s symptoms.
For the study, 4 groups of IL-10-KO mice were used. The first group of mice were 4 weeks old and ate their normal mouse food the whole time. There were also mice that ate the normal mouse food with raw broccoli shoots mixed in.
In the second round, mice were recruited at 7 weeks of age, and they were split into the same two feeding groups as before.
In order to learn more about how host-diet-microbial community interactions and disease severity vary by age, the researchers studied Crohn’s mouse models at the juvenile stage (4-6 weeks old) and at the adolescent stage (7-9 weeks old) to get a better grasp on how IBDs develop in the first years of life.
The mice were fed for 7 days to adjust to their individual diets before the researchers triggered symptoms, and the animals kept on their diets for the next 2 weeks as the condition developed.
Symptoms were induced by introducing healthy mice that are carriers of additional germs to the cage. The IL-10-KO mice in the study can’t make IL-10, so their immune systems have a hard time handling gut bacteria. The new germs in the cage made their colitis and Crohn’s conditions worse. The mice were weighed and their feces were collected daily for the following 15-16 days after infection to look for indications of colitis.
At the end of the study, they looked at the gut contents of the dead mice and the bacteria communities that lived in their bowels. They also checked the blood for signs of inflammation and broccoli chemicals.
The experts were interested in what kinds of germs lived in different parts of the gut. Since studying the effects of a broccoli sprout diet on microbial biogeography in people is not possible, researchers instead turned to Crohn’s disease models.
To determine which bacteria were present, DNA was taken from mouse intestinal tissue samples and submitted for sequencing. Once the sequencing data was received, the researchers studied the gut microbial ecology of our mice models using bioinformatics tools and their own inventiveness.
“We found,” the lead author Lola Holcomb included, “many exciting results from this study.”
First, they showed “that the mice that ate the broccoli sprout diet had a greater concentration of an anti-inflammatory metabolite called sulforaphane in their blood. Even though our mice were immunocompromised and had colitis, this increase in sulforaphane protected them from severe disease symptoms like weight loss, fecal blood and diarrhea.”
It’s interesting to note that the juvenile mice, as opposed to the adolescent mice, reacted better to the broccoli sprout diet, according to the researchers. The younger mice’s gut microbial populations were richer and their illness symptoms were less. In addition, the younger mice had more adherence to location-specific community composition across several gut regions and greater beta-diversity, or similarity, amongst bacterial communities.
“Simply put, we found that of the 4 groups we studied, the younger mice fed a broccoli sprout diet had the mildest disease symptoms and the most robust gut microbiota,” Holcomb added.
The researchers say that broccoli sprouts, which are easy to grow and can be bought at shops, could be used to help people with IBD.
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