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Food induced stimulation of the antisecretory factor can improve symptoms in human inflammatory bowel disease: a study of a concept

Abstract

BACKGROUND Antisecretory factor (AF), a 41 kDa cloned and sequenced protein, suppresses intestinal inflammation and hypersecretion in animals. Endogenous AF production can be induced by dietary modifications in several animal species, and this feed has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal disease in weaning piglets. The role of AF in intestinal disease in humans is not known.

AIMS To study the effects of hydrothermally processed cereals, optimised for AF induction in animals, added to the diet of patients with longstanding symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

PATIENTS Fifty three patients with IBD (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease) were entered into the study, and 50 completed follow up. The experimental group consisted of 16 females (mean age 50 (SEM 5) years) and 10 males (41 (4) years) and the placebo group of 12 women (41 (4) years old) and 12 men (51 (5) years).

METHODS Patients were randomised to receive either hydrothermally processed cereals (active treatment) or the same amount of ordinary cereals (placebo treatment) for four weeks in a double blind study design. Baseline diet and medications remained unchanged. Bowel symptoms, plasma levels of AF, and colonic biopsies were evaluated before and after treatment.

RESULTS The active treatment significantly improved subjective ratings of clinical symptoms and increased plasma AF levels compared with placebo. Plasma lipid levels were unaffected.

CONCLUSION Hydrothermally processed cereals can induce AF production in human IBD. This increase in endogenous AF activity is associated with clinical improvement. Further studies are warranted to clarify the exact role of AF in human intestinal disease.

  • antisecretory factor
  • functional food
  • ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn's disease

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Footnotes

  • Abbreviations used in this paper:
    AF
    antisecretory factor
    VAS
    visual analogue scale
    IBD
    inflammatory bowel disease
    CRP
    C reactive protein

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