Friday, December 28, 2012

Health Benefits from #Probiotics-Definitely Does The Body Good

I use probiotics, I have to in order to keep my gut balanced.  My Integrated Medicine doctor started me on a probiotic that has done wonders for me.  I attribute a lot of my intestinal healing from taking this combination of Bifidobacterium manufactured by Metagenics.  I recently foound out that the company discontinued this product.  I bought almost all the bottles that my doctor had available, but i'm not sure what I'm going to do when I finish them all.  I'm not having any luck finding anything similar made by other companies and other users of this particular probiotic don't do well either without this combo of Bifidobacterium.   

Probiotics' Benefits May Be More Than a Gut Feeling -

Probiotics, believed to help with digestion, are increasingly being studied to treat wide-ranging conditions, from colic to cholesterol and the common cold.
One of the fastest-growing dietary supplements, probiotics are now prominent on drug and big-box store shelves. They are live microorganisms—or "good" bacteria—that when consumed in capsules or yogurt are said to confer a health benefit. So far, however, there is little scientific proof of their effectiveness—many studies of probiotics have involved less-than-rigorous research standards.
As further data become available, some researchers believe probiotics may evolve into prescription drugs, as doctors focus on specific bacteria strains to target patients' particular conditions. At the moment, however, many experts say probiotics are misunderstood.
"Consumers have shown to be willing to spend the money, just in case [probiotics] work," says Michael Fischbach, an assistant professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. "What we all have to be careful about is to not view them as a panacea and to make sure that we don't raise our expectations too high."
U.S. sales of probiotic supplements totaled nearly $770 million last year, up some 22% from the previous year, according to Euromonitor International, a market research firm.
The strongest clinical studies have suggested some probiotics may be beneficial for certain gastrointestinal problems, allergies and vaginal infections. Many doctors recommend probiotics when patients are taking antibiotics. Probiotics are widely considered safe except for people with an impaired immune system, though experts recommend talking to a doctor first.
For other ailments, hundreds of probiotic studies are currently under way, experts say. In a report last month in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Health Related Professions said a combination of two probiotics may reduce the symptoms and recovery time for the common cold. Other studies have shown similar results, especially with children.
Researchers this month presented evidence at a meeting of the American Heart Association showing that two daily doses of a probiotic lowered bad cholesterol by nearly 12% and reduced total and saturated cholesterol esters which contribute to the hardening of arteries. The study was funded by Micropharma Ltd., a Canadian probiotic research and production company.
Some studies have federal backing. UCSF is exploring possible effects of probiotics on infants and early markers of asthma, as well as on colic. Harvard Medical School researchers are studying what good bacteria might do for the immune system to see if the response to flu vaccine in elderly people can be improved.
The body contains trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. Most live in the gut but they also colonize other areas. Good bacteria help digest food, produce vitamins and protect from infections, among other things.

The Flora Inside

Probiotics are 'good' bacteria believed to confer health benefits.
  • Products ranging from yogurt to household cleaners contain probiotics.
  • Sales of probiotic supplements totaled $770 million last year, up 22% from 2010.
  • For supplements, experts suggest sticking to well-known brands like Culturelle, VSL#3, Align and Florastor.
  • Different probiotic strains can affect the body differently. Strains should be listed on a product label.
  • Probiotics are largely unregulated but they can't make claims to cure or prevent a disease.
The community of bacteria, the body's intestinal flora, begins at birth, says Esi Lamousé-Smith, an instructor in medicine at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. By age 3 these bacteria, sometimes referred to as our gut or intestinal microbiome, are more or less set, she says. Each person's microbiome is distinct and doesn't change significantly with age unless a person becomes ill, takes an antibiotic or makes major changes in diet.
A probiotic, which adds good bacteria only for the time it is being taken, seems to influence other bacteria already present. For example, it might stimulate other bacteria to turn on or off certain genes. These genes, in turn, might be involved in various functions, such as immune regulation or nutrient metabolism.
"I am wholeheartedly a believer" in probiotics, says Maureen Fitzgerald, a Germantown, Wis., resident who blogs about parenting issues.
As a former teacher, Ms. Fitzgerald was exposed to many germs and says she was looking for something to "beef up" her immune system. Once she started regularly taking probiotics she says she wasn't "getting as many of the colds and the bugs that are around." About five years ago, Ms. Fitzgerald's then 3-year-old son began taking a children's probiotic that cleared up digestion problems he was having. After that, Ms. Fitzgerald says she was hooked on the supplements. She raved about probiotics on her blog and has since received free samples, which she reviews.
There are many different strains of probiotics and each may affect the body differently. The dosage—or number of colony-forming units—in a probiotic is also important. Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are the two most widely studied types of probiotics. Lactobacillus rhamnosus, widely known as LGG, may treat viral and antibiotic-induced diarrhea, and certain allergies, like childhood eczema. A strain ofLactobacillus reuteri has been shown to help with colic. Bifidobacterium animalis, found in some brands of yogurt, is said to improve digestion.
Experts say taking a probiotic supplement with many bacterial strains isn't necessarily better. The key is ensuring each strain in a product is active and has been clinically proven to work at a certain dosage, they say. Tests done by have shown that the number of living organisms in probiotics doesn't always reflect the label. Of 12 products tested this year, two delivered fewer organisms than listed.
Probiotics aren't required to obtain Food and Drug Administration approval before being marketed. "Right now they're considered a food product or dietary supplement, not a drug," says Gerard Mullin, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and author of "The Inside Tract."
There aren't any FDA approved health claims for probiotics, says Diane Hoffmann, a law professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, who oversaw a study on the federal regulation of probiotics. But companies can make broader statements, called "structure function" claims. It is the difference between saying a product reduces the risk of heart disease versus supports a healthy heart. Because the difference isn't discernible to many consumers, there is little incentive in the industry to pursue costlier and more resource-intensive health claims.
"Consumers just need to know that claims are not necessarily preapproved and they may not be well substantiated," says Ms. Hoffmann.
In the short term, experts recommend sticking with the strains of probiotics that have a lot of science behind them, like Lactobacillus GG, and brands that have proven to be safe and truthful in labeling.
Dr. Mullin, of Johns Hopkins, says the future may lie in concocting specific probiotics for people based upon their individual needs and microbiomes.
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Medicinal Marijuana- Studies Show It Helps Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis (#IBD) - Pass the Pot Please!

Marijuana Helps Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), are a challenge to treat. Among the potential treatment options is marijuana, and several recent studies indicate that this unconventional option offers some significant benefits.

How we treat inflammatory bowel disease

The current treatment options for the more than 1.5 million Americans and millions more who suffer with inflammatory bowel disease include dietary measures (e.g., olive oil extractvitamin Dprobiotics) and a variety of drugs. These treatments attempt to alleviate the diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, weight loss and abdominal pain and cramps associated with the disease.
The more common treatments for IBD include anti-inflammatory drugs, such as sulfasalazine, corticosteroids (which have significant side effects and are only suitable for short-term use), mesalamine (e.g., Apriso, Dipentum, Lialda), immune system suppressors (e.g., azathioprine, cyclosporine, infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, methotrexate), which can have significant side effects, and antibiotics, which are of questionable benefit. Beyond these drugs are others that can address specific symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, or pain, or address nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iron, calcium, vitamin B12). Surgery is a last resort.
Inflammatory bowel disease can be life-threatening and thus deserves focused attention. Ulcerative colitis typically affects only the large intestine (colon) and rectum and usually develops gradually over time. Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere along the intestinal tract and can infiltrate the tissues.
Studies of marijuana and IBD
review of investigations into the use of cannabis for inflammatory bowel disease reveals that its use “in the clinical therapy has been strongly limited by their psychotropic effects.” The authors of this recent Italian study, however, point out that cannabidiol (a non-psychoactive and 
healthful ingredient in marijuana), “is a very promising compound” because it does not have any psychotropic effects, and that it is a “potential candidate for the development of a new class of anti-IBD drugs.”
A 2012 study published in Digestion noted that people who had had IBD for a long time responded favorably to marijuana, experiencing an increase in appetite, weight gain, better social functioning, improved ability to work, and an improvement in depression and pain after three months of treatment with inhaled cannabis. Earlier studies have also indicated positive effects.
For example, an Israeli study was the first to show that use of marijuana in people with Crohn’s disease could provide a positive result. Twenty-one of the 30 patients in the study experienced significantly improvement after using marijuana, and the need for drugs was significantly reduced as well.
In yet another study, Canadian researchers evaluated 100 people with ulcerative colitis and 191 with Crohn’s disease and their use of marijuana. The investigators found a significant level of marijuana use among people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease (about 50% in each group). People who had a history of surgery for IBD were more likely to use marijuana (60%) than were those who had not undergone surgery (32%).
The bottom line appears to be that use of marijuana among people who have inflammatory bowel disease may be beneficial. If you have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, you should ask your healthcare provider or another healthcare professional about the possibility of using marijuana for symptom relief.
Esposito G et al. Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel disease: a brief overview. Phytotherapy Research 2012 July; doi:10.1002/ptr.4781
Lahat A et al. Impact of cannabis treatment on the quality of life, weight and clinical disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease patients: a pilot prospective study. Digestion 2012; 85(1): 1-8
Lal S et al. Cannabis use amongst patients with inflammatory bowel disease. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2011 Oct; 23(10): 891-96
Naftali T et al. Treatment of Crohn’s disease with cannabis: an observational study. Israel Medical Association Journal 2011 Aug; 1(8): 455-58
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

#UC/Ulcerative Colitis Drug Market (Pharms Producing-TNF alpha inhib, CAM inhibitors)-Expected 2 Dbl Over Next Decade - $3.7B

lol I think i'm going to buy stock in Simponi... why the heck not.
There's almost no risk in this area of the market because it's going to make money.  No question about it.  They market the shit like it's going to be gone tomorrow.  Pharmaceutical companies makes $, but the TNF-alpha inhibitor pharms that produce this kind of drug BANK so much money. It's almost in conceivable.

Why not reap the benefits of this shit??  It's almost stupid not to.   That's my view when I see the stats & dollar amount.  The sales amounts have always just increased.

Keep kickem back!  Please do.  It's so obvious and makes sense that they are. It gives me a much better understanding when i'm sitting in the exam room with my doctor and processing everything he is saying to me.... & why.

The Ulcerative Colitis Drug Market Will Double Over the Next Decade, Increasing to $3.7 Billion in 2021

Primary Factors that Will Drive Market Growth are the Uptake of Humira, Simponi, Vedolizumab and Tofacitinib, According to Findings from ArticlDecision Resources

December 19, 2012-Burlington, Mass. –Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the ulcerative colitis drug market will double over the next decade, increasing to $3.7 billion in 2021 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan. The uptake of two premium-priced tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) inhibitors—Abbott/Eisai’s Humira and Janssen/Merck/Mitsubishi Tanabe’s Simponi—and two novel therapies, Takeda’s cell adhesion molecule (CAM) inhibitor vedolizumab and Pfizer’s oral Janus-activated kinase inhibitor tofacitinib, will primarily drive growth during this period, as will the expanding number of diagnosed prevalent cases of ulcerative colitis.

The upcoming Pharmacor advisory service entitled Ulcerative Colitis, which will be published soon, forecasts that increased physician acceptance of TNF-alpha inhibitors for the treatment of moderate to severe disease and patient preference for convenient subcutaneous administration will fuel the uptake of newer TNF-alpha inhibitors Humira and Simponi through the 2021 study period. Simponi, owing to its perceived greater efficacy than that of Humira in separate Phase III trials and favorable gastroenterologist opinion, will challenge intravenous infliximab’s (Janssen/Merck/Mitsubishi Tanabe’s Remicade) standing as the most frequently prescribed agent in the TNF-alpha inhibitor class. However, Remicade will remain the patient-share leader among the TNF-alpha inhibitors, maintaining a relatively constant patient share across the G7 countries, based on its well-established efficacy. Sales of Simponi are expected to overtake Remicade’s sales in 2017 based largely on the former’s premium price and assumed high dosing in ulcerative colitis, driving the market’s growth as the new sales leader.

The launches of two promising premium-priced novel agents, vedolizumab and tofacitinib, in 2014 and starting in 2016 respectively, will contribute to increasing sales over the ten-year forecast period, gaining most initial use in the TNF-refractory population.

“These agents will likely extend the treatment algorithm by offering, for the first time, additional lines of therapy for patients with inadequate response to the TNF-alpha inhibitors,” said Decision Resources Analyst Kathrina Quinn, Ph.D. “Although the TNF-refractory market is relatively limited in size, the high unmet need for treatments that cater to this population and potentially delay or prevent colectomy will drive major-market sales of approximately $740 million in 2021, constituting about 20 percent total market share.”

Towards the end of the forecast period, Decision Resources anticipates that vedolizumab and tofacitinib will begin to overtake adalimumab’s use as gastroenterologists move to another drug class after trying up to two TNF-alpha inhibitors. Even though vedolizumab is expected to launch first, tofacitinib’s uptake will likely overtake that of vedolizumab’s based on the strengths of its oral delivery and postmarketing safety data for other immune indications.

About Decision Resources
Decision Resources ( is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources and master their chosen markets. Decision Resources is a Decision Resources Group company.

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources Group
All company, brand or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact:

Christopher Comfort
Decision Resources Group

Ulcerative Colitis Drug Market Will Double Over the Next Decade - Decision Resources:

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Friday, December 14, 2012

#Colectomy - No Improvement Before & After #Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis (#UC) Patients

How discouraging!! I thought surgery is supposed to cure UC?? IDK... It's a pretty large study and these numbers just straight up SUCK!

  • when followed over the long term, 12.4% of colectomy patients were fully work disabled 3 years after surgery, compared with 5.9% 3 years before. This compares with a rate of 7.2% in the general population.
  • In total, 33% of UC patients had a registered sick leave episode or claimed disability pension during 2005 compared with 22% in the general population during 2005.
  • Absence rates for colectomized UC patients were even higher, with 43% of these patients having at least one sick leave episode during 2005.
By Kirsty Oswald, medwireNews Reporter

Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) take more time off work than the general population, even after undergoing colectomy, shows a large Swedish study.
Furthermore, in study patients who underwent colectomy, postoperative work loss did not return to pre-surgery rates.
The study, published in Gastroenterology, included 19,714 patients with UC during 2005, 16% of whom were colectomized. Patients who underwent colectomy between 1998 and 2002 were followed up for work loss for at least 3 years before and after surgery.
In total, 33% of UC patients had a registered sick leave episode or claimed disability pension during 2005 compared with 22% in the general population during 2005. There was also a significant association between the presence of UC and the number of work days lost, with adjusted analyses showing that UC patients lost 20 more days of work than the general population during the year.
Absence rates for colectomized UC patients were even higher, with 43% of these patients having at least one sick leave episode during 2005.
And, in patients who were followed up before and after colectomy, the mean annual work days lost increased from 58 in the year prior to colectomy to 112 the year after. Furthermore, when followed over the long term, 12.4% of colectomy patients were fully work disabled 3 years after surgery, compared with 5.9% 3 years before. This compares with a rate of 7.2% in the general population.
However, the authors highlight that more than 50% of patients did not experience any work loss in the 3 years before or after colectomy.
They say that their findings are unsurprising given the relapsing nature of the disease and the potential need for hospitalization and surgery.
"For many UC patients, keeping a job may depend on close access to a toilet, and patients with stomas or pouches might face additional practical obstacles," explain Martin Neovius (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden) and colleagues.
"Furthermore, major surgery such as colectomy may have social as well as psychological consequences, both of which may increase work loss."

Licensed from medwireNews with permission from Springer Healthcare Ltd. ©Springer Healthcare Ltd. All rights reserved. Neither of these parties endorse or recommend any commercial products, services, or equipment.

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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Study on Monkeys w/ - Probiotic Worm Treatment ~ Sounds Good!

Another study, very small study, testing parasite worm (Helminth) eggs that shows that the treatment is effective with improving the gut bacteria balance in monkeys. Awesome.   I have been reading more and more about this treatment.  I may actually inquire about this the next time i see my GI doctor.

  •  In animal models of autoimmunity these worms have suppressed inflammation, and clinical trials indicate that helminth therapy can be beneficial in inflammatory bowel diseases.

Probiotic Worm treatment may improve symptoms of colitis by restoring gut bacteria to healthy state 

November 15, 2012 in Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 

A new study on monkeys with chronic diarrhea that were treated by microscopic parasite worm (helminth) eggs has provided insights on how this form of therapy may heal the intestine. This condition in monkeys is similar to the inflammatory bowel diseases that affects up to 1.4 million Americans.  

The study, published today in the Open-Access journal PLOS Pathogens, shows that helminths can restore the balance of gut bacterial communities to the monkeys with chronic diarrhea. Inflammatory bowel diseases are driven by a misdirected immune response against gut bacteria (the microbiome) and are often associated with alterations in gut bacterial communities (known as dysbiosis). 

"The idea for treating colitis with worms is not new, but how this therapy might work remains unclear," says the study's senior corresponding author, P'ng Loke, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center. "Our findings suggest that exposure to helminths may improve symptoms by restoring the balance to the microbial communities that are attached to the intestinal wall." 

Because inflammatory bowel diseases are more common in countries with developed economies and is rare in developing countries, researchers have hypothesized that endemic helminth infections in developing countries may offer protection against this disease. In animal models of autoimmunity these worms have suppressed inflammation, and clinical trials indicate that helminth therapy can be beneficial in inflammatory bowel diseases. 

Juvenile monkeys kept in captivity often spontaneously develop chronic diarrhea that is difficult to treat by veterinarians. Dr. Loke and his colleagues treated 5 monkeys with chronic diarrhea with microscopic helminth eggs and collected tissue samples before and after treatment. 

Tissues samples taken before treatment from sick monkeys had many more attached bacteria than healthy monkeys and the types of attached bacteria were completely altered (dysbiosis). This attachment of altered bacteria was associated with a very strong inflammatory response. After treatment, the types of bacteria attached to tissue samples were much more similar to healthy monkeys, and 4 out of 5 monkeys had less diarrhea and started to gain weight. 

Dr. Loke and colleagues are now embarking on a new clinical trial designed to study how pig helminth eggs (TSO) may relieve symptoms of ulcerative colitis (UC) and have started enrolling patients at NYU Langone Medical Center. TSO is being used because it can be produced under pathogen free conditions certified by the FDA for clinical trials and cannot be transmitted from person to person.      

Journal reference: PLoS Pathogens 

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