Ganglioside for Irritable Bowel Disease and Resistant Diarrhea

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Ganglioside is a glycolipid first discovered in brain tissue. Image courtesy of m.kokun

Inflamatory bowel disease (IBD) comprises a group of autoimmune conditions that cause inflammation of the intestines. There is no cure for IBD, which requires a lifetime of care, and accounts for over $1.7 billion in health care costs. Some examples of IBD are Crohn’s Disease and colitis.

C.difficile, commonly called C-diff, is considered a “superbug” that is extremely resistant to antibiotics.  First a serious and growing hospital acquired infection, C-diff, which causes devastating and potentially fatal diarrhea, is spreading to the community at large.

What is Ganglioside?

Ganglioside is a lipid that was first discovered in brain cells. Dr. John Miklavcic of the University of Alberta, Canada, completed a study investigating the action of ganglioside in preventing and relieving both infection and inflammation of the bowel.

How Does Ganglioside Protect the Bowel?

In an exclusive interview, Decoded Science asked Dr. Miklavcic to describe in “lay terms” how ganglioside lipids protect the intestinal mucosa. He responded as follows:

Although it’s not fully understood, there are a few mechanisms by which we think ganglioside protects the intestine.

  1. First, ganglioside prevents infection by pathogenic bacteria. This is accomplished by either a direct effect of killing the pathogen, or by preventing the pathogen from attaching to the cells in our gut and invading our bodies. This is especially important because many pathogens can cause diarrhea and inflammation.
  2. Second, inflammation hurts our intestine by causing damage to the cells lining our gut. There is a delicate balance of molecules in our gut; one set which favours inflammation and the other set which are anti-inflammatory. Ganglioside shifts the balance toward greater production of anti-inflammatory molecules, which allows the gut to be repaired and function properly.

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