Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Common bowel problem linked to chilli pepper pain receptor

People with irritable bowel syndrome have a higher than usual number of chilli pepper pain receptors, according to a new study published tomorrow (Wednesday 11 June).

The research, published in the journal Gut, could lead to new therapies for the estimated one in five UK adults who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a painful condition which is poorly understood. Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, bloating, and bowel problems such as constipation or diarrhoea.

The new research shows that people with IBS have higher than usual levels of nerve fibres expressing the pain receptor TRPV1, responsible for causing a burning sensation when people eat chilli peppers. The study’s authors, from Imperial College London, hope that doctors could treat the pain that people with IBS experience by targeting and blocking this receptor.

People with severe pain from IBS are currently treated with opiates, which can have serious side-effects. Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen tend to offer little relief. New painkillers to target TRPV1 are currently being developed by pharmaceutical companies and the new findings suggest that such drugs could tackle some of the symptoms of IBS.

The researchers believe their findings may explain why some people’s IBS symptoms worsen after eating spicy food. They also suggest that the presence of more nerve fibres expressing the TRPV1 pain receptors might mean that people with IBS are more susceptible to pain.

Professor Subrata Ghosh, one of the authors of the study from the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London, said: “IBS can seriously affect people’s quality of life and our new study could explain some of its symptoms. At the moment patients don’t have a lot of options for managing their condition and the treatments we can offer can give disappointing results. We hope that our findings will lead to better treatments to help people with IBS.”

Professor Praveen Anand, an author of the study from the Division of Neuroscience and Mental Health at Imperial College, added: "Up to 50 pharmaceutical and biotech companies world-wide are developing drugs that block the chilli pepper receptor TRPV1, and our published studies on this receptor in a number of chronic pain and hypersensitivity conditions provide hope for millions of suffering patients."

The researchers reached their conclusions after comparing biopsies of colon tissue taken from 23 patients with IBS and 22 controls, recruited from the Gastroenterology clinics and the endoscopy department at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The biopsies were studied in the Division of Neuroscience and Mental Health at Imperial College London.

Together, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have become partners in the UK’s first Academic Health Science Centre. This aims to bring the benefits of research findings to patients much more quickly and effectively than ever before.

The study was funded by GlaxoSmithKline, UK, and supported by the National Association of Colitis and Crohns Disease.

Laura Gallagher | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>