Millions of people around the world have ulcerative colitis which is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) where there is a chronic or recurring immune response leading to inflammation of the large intestine or colon. The condition causes abdominal pain, ulcers, and diarrhoea and is similar to another IBD called Crohn’s disease. If you would like to know more about the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, you can read our earlier article by clicking on the link.
Although the causes of ulcerative colitis are not well understood, research suggests that gut bacteria may play an important role.
Researchers led by Jilin University in Changchun, China have found that vinegar appears to suppress inflammatory proteins and also increase beneficial bacteria in the guts of mice. The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Vinegar is a centuries old culinary ingredient and traditional remedy and the researchers now say that it may be a remedy for ulcerative colitis.
The vinegar and it’s main ingredient acetic acid, was added to the drinking water of mice which had been bred to develop symptoms of ulcerative colitis. After a month the researchers found that the mice had higher levels of friendly bacteria in their gut such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Other studies have shown that these bacteria are beneficial for colitis. Inflammation in the colon was also reduced as the vinegar suppressed proteins and molecular processes that trigger inflammation.
The researchers also found that vinegar appears to reduce a type of cell death that is triggered by stressful conditions.
Further studies will be needed to establish if the results of their findings are true of humans.
For more information about the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and advice on how to live with the condition, please follow this link to our earlier article.
If you would like more advice and help on Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis please click on the link to the UK society for the conditions.
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