Inflammatory Bowel Disease, also known as IBD, includes two types of disorders: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both types of disorders are characterized by long-term inflammation of the digestive tract including the organs like stomach, esophagus, and the intestines.
In a new study, the researchers belonging to the University of Louisville found a natural compound that may help accelerate the treatments of IBD. The researchers also explained the mechanism through which this compound fights IBD.
This compound is known as urolithin A (UroA) and is a type of metabolite produced as a consequence of interactions of polyphenols of certain fruits including pomegranates with the gut bacteria.
More specifically, ellagic acid, a compound found in pomegranates and berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, interacts with Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum present in the gut leading to the release of UroA.
The findings of this study have been published in a journal called Nature Communications.
How is Your Gut Protected?
Previous studies have regarded that UroA carries various health benefits. These studies urged the scientists to look deeply into the features of this agent in reference to the treatments of IBD.
The researchers mentioned how previous studies have thrown light upon the inhibitory activities possessed b urothilins with respect to proliferation, inflammation, and the process of aging in different models.
In this latest study, the scientists used a mouse model to check different ways in which UroA, as well as UAS03, could help in the treatment of IBD. The investigations revealed that both of these compounds were able to decrease inflammation of the guts by working as “bridges” between the cells lining the gut.
Both UroA and UAS03 help tighten the cell junctions and prevent the toxins from passing through them and causing inflammation.
Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that urolithin exerts most of its benefits through its anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory properties. This mode of function also involves the repair of any dysfunction to the gut barrier and the maintenance of its integrity.
The Interactions between Gut Bacteria and UroA
Even though the researchers motivate the people to use pomegranates and berries containing UroA, they do not guarantee that the symptoms of IBD would lessen due to it.
This is because the bacteria that helps in the production of this agent may be present in a reduced amount, or may be entirely absent in some cases from the gut of some people.
So, due to this reason, the synthetic UAS03 is considered more effective and reliable in the treatment of IBD and its certain forms like acute colitis.
As per the scientists of the current study, the microbes residing in the human gut have evolved in order to produce the beneficial microbial metabolites around the gut barrier.
However, it is important for people to protect and harbor this gut microbiota by consuming healthy diets. This study has revealed that consuming UroA or its analog can help in the compensation of a lack of specific bacteria that help in the production of UroA.