Potential new therapeutic approaches for inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease, may involve using antifungals with probiotics

Scientists have determined that fungus may play a key role in chronic intestinal inflammation disorders.

They found that patients with Crohn’s disease tend to have much higher levels of the fungus Candida tropicalis compared to their healthy family members.

These findings and provide insights into potential new therapeutic approaches using antifungals and probiotics in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease (CD).

“The human gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to trillions of microorganisms, some beneficial and others potentially harmful. Recent advances in science have allowed us to identify the multitude of organisms inhabiting the GI tract and parse out those that play a role in IBD,” explains lead author Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhD, of the Center for Medical Mycology, Department of Dermatology, Case Western Reserve University and, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.

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“Unfortunately, most research has focused on studying only the bacteria while overlooking a key player, fungus. In order to address this issue, we have focused our efforts on studying the fungal community in the GI tract known as the mycobiome.”

Promising potential treatments could include using antifungals and even probiotics that are designed to balance both bacteria and fungi, while breaking down digestive plaque biofilms.

Antifungals will control the overgrowth of fungi, while probiotics can help restore and maintain the balance of the microbiota, noted the authors.

“Our ground-breaking discovery that bacteria and fungi both play a critical role in health and disease has tremendous implications not only for understanding the disease process, but also for development of potentially life changing treatments for those who suffer from chronic digestive diseases,” concludes Dr Ghannoum.

Source: Elsevier via www.sciencedaily.com

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