Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Massey research improves gut permeability test

Massey research improves gut permeability test

Caption: Professor Roger Lentle and doctoral researcher Ivana Sequeira

It may be a simple test – drink sugary water, pee and wait for the results. But a Massey nutrition researcher’s innovative experimental work to refine and improve the accuracy of the test – widely used by doctors to monitor people with chronic bowel conditions – has earned her international recognition.

College of Health doctoral student Ivana Sequeira measured the human gut’s permeability to tracer sugars during a three-year study.

Her research at Massey’s Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health will mean a significant improvement in accuracy when assessing changes in gut permeability in illnesses such as Chrohn’s, Coeliac and Inflammatory Bowel diseases. About 15,000 people in New Zealand are affected by inflammatory bowel disease, according to the Ministry of Health.

Her work has been praised in the reputable Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology journal, which published her research. In a rare editorial piece, titled Sweet transition from clinical to basic physiology, editor Dr Klaus Michel says Ms Sequeira’s research is good example of scientific studies that are “paving the way for valuable improvements of existing methods to benefit patients and clinicians.”

Gut permeability determines what nutrients the body absorbs, and is crucial for overall health. Permeability, and the cells that control it, can be disturbed by harmful bacteria which prevents optimum nutrient absorption and can lead to immune dysfunction and disease, says Roger Lentle, a professor of digestive biomechanics who supervised the research.

“The existing clinical tests of gut permeability are fairly crude and may not be sufficiently sensitive to identify the early stages of relapse, or to identify which section of the bowel is involved, “ he says.

Ms Sequiera measured the rate at which two harmless sugar probes (mannitol and lactulose) were absorbed to track permeability in the small and large intestine. To check whether the modified test would pick up subtle changes in permeability she repeated it after each subject had taken a single dose of aspirin, used to mimic a slight inflammatory effect. She found that the test could identify a significant increase in the permeability in the small but not the large intestine.

She subsequently conducted a further study to check her results simultaneously dosing her subjects with the tracer sugars and a ‘smart pill’ – a radio transmitter pill that gave signals that enabled the researchers to tell whether it was in the small or the large intestine.

“This research puts New Zealand on the map internationally in terms of cutting edge clinical science,” says Professor Lentle. He says the modified test could also be used to test the effects of a range of foods and food supplements on gut permeability, and to relate these to conditions such as obesity.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news