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

 

Trade Plans: Prime Minister's Speech To International Business Forum

"The work to improve public services, build infrastructure, and solve social problems is possible only because we have enjoyed sustained, solid economic growth. A big reason for that is the Government’s consistent agenda of economic reform, and our determination to open up more opportunities for trade with the world." More>>

ALSO:

Media: TVNZ Flags Job Cuts To Arrest Profit Decline

Chief executive Kevin Kenrick said the changes were aimed at creating "a sustainable future video content business for TVNZ in an ever-changing media market." More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: Wheeler Keeps OCR At 1.75%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate unchanged at 1.75 percent, as expected, and reiterated his view that the benchmark rate doesn't need shifting for the foreseeable future. More>>

ALSO:

Retail: Pumpkin Patch Brand, IP Sold To Catch Group

The receivers of failed children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch have confirmed that the company's brand and intellectual property have been sold to Australian online retailer Catch Group. More>>

ALSO:

Oil: 2017 Block Offer Petroleum Tender Launched

New Zealand is well-placed to take advantage of the economic benefits of oil and gas exploration, Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins announced today at the launch of the 2017 Block Offer petroleum tender. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news