Active Carbohydrate Found In Crustacean Shells Could Prevent And Treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD); Other Disorders

Active Carbohydrate Found In Crustacean Shells Could Prevent And Treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD); Other Disorders
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBDs) are a class of autoimmune disorders characterized by chronic or recurring inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which can be painful and debilitating, and for which there is no known cure. The two most common IBDs are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease. IBDs should not be confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disorder that affects the motility (muscle contractions) of the colon. Sometimes called "spastic colon" or "nervous colitis," IBS can be a miserable affliction, but is not characterized by intestinal inflammation and therefore, a much less serious disease than ulcerative colitis or crohn's disease to neither of which it bears any direct relationship. Pharmaceutical medications currently used to treat IBD include antibiotics, corticosteroids and other biologic anti-inflammatory drugs are expensive, don't always work or at best are only partly or temporarily effective, and are associated with a variety of unpleasant and undesirable side-effects. Consequently, patients with IBD are likely to consider or try complimentary or alternative approaches to treating their illness, and there may soon be a new one for sufferers to check out. Yoshimi Shibata, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical science in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), in Boca Raton, FL, has received a $380,552 grant from the National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further investigate how microparticles called chitin, that is found in crab, shrimp and lobster shells, have anti-inflammatory mechanisms that could lead to the development of novel preventive and therapeutic strategies for individuals who suffer from IBD and other diseases. Lo
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