The Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) research team at Virginia Tech has discovered important new information on the efficacy of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) in treating Crohn’s disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
CLA is a naturally occurring acid found in meat and dairy products known for its anti-cancer and immune modulatory properties.
In collaboration with the Division of Gastro-enterology and Hepathology at University of North Carolina School of Medicine and the Wake Forest Medical Center, researchers found that Crohn’s patients who took supple-mentary CLA showed noticeable improvement. “In our recent open label study of CLA as a supplement in study subjects with mild to moderate CD there was a marked improvement in disease activity and quality of life in 50% of the subjects. CLA was well tolerated by all of the study subjects. These findings are very encouraging and will need to be verified in a randomized controlled trial,” said a research team specializing in Gastroenterology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The two main manifestations of IBD Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis afflict over 1.4 million people in the United States. Symptoms include abdominal cramping,fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, skin and mouth ulcers, and diarrhea or constipation. In addition, the risk of developing colorectal cancer increases by about one percent yearly in IBD patients.
Currently, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease and the exact causes of it aren’t fully understood.
CLA supplementation provides those with mild to moderate IBD an effective nutrient-based treatment without the unwanted side effects of many synthetic drugs. “Furthermore, we have demonstrated that probiotic bacteria can produce CLA locally and suppress colitis. Therefore, CLA can be administered directly in capsules or indirectly through CLA-producing probiotic bacteria,” said the researchers.
NIMML strives to develop safer and more effective therapies for human chronic inflam-matory diseases from Nature’s own medicine cabinet. To achieve this, NIMML uses advanced computational modeling in addition to mechanistic and clinical experimentation.
“The validation of the anti-inflammatory actions of CLA in the gut is in line with our goal because CLA is a natural fatty acid found in grass-fed animal products: milk, butter, cheese, and meat with fat intact. Other good sources of CLA include Evening Primrose Oil, Safflower Oil and Flaxseed Oil.
CLA is a naturally-derived anti-inflammatory compound with therapeutic and prophylactic potential.
These findings, reported in the most recent edition of Clinical Nutrition, were awarded the American College of Gastroenterology Presidential Poster of distinction for human clinical trials.
Story Source: Virginia Tech, Tech (2012, March 19) “Novel therapy discovered for Crohn’s disease”
This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your doctor or healthcare professional.