Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research gives hope to preemies and Crohn’s patients

03.06.2004


Babies who arrive from eight to twelve weeks early and adults who suffer from Crohn’s disease are both at risk for developing short bowel syndrome, a condition that may tie them to an IV for feeding and greatly reduce the quality of their lives --medically, economically, and socially.



Now research in Kelly Tappenden’s laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers hope to patients who have had parts of their small intestine surgically removed, making it difficult for them to absorb nutrients. Tappenden has found that adding butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, to an intravenous nutrition solution not only causes intestine to grow back but makes it more functional as well.

The research will be published as the 2004 Harry M. Vars Award paper in the July/August issue of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.


"Babies born at 28 to 32 weeks sometimes develop necrotizing enterocolitis, a kind of gangrene of the intestine," said Tappenden, a professor of nutritional sciences. "Last year, 11.6 percent of births in the United States were preterm infants, and removing necrotized intestine is the most common surgical emergency in preemies.

"Surgery saves their lives, but with so much intestine removed, they’re unable to digest or absorb nutrients. They can’t eat by mouth like the rest of us do, and we have to use a process called total parenteral nutrition to feed them intravenously," she said.

Around 10,000 patients in the United States are totally reliant on intravenous feeding because their intestines have been surgically shortened, Tappenden said.

"Being on an IV for all a person’s nutritional needs really affects his quality of life, and it puts him at risk for long-term complications, such as bone demineralization and liver failure. Many of these children eventually require organ transplants to survive. Our goal is to take kids who’ve had this resection and cause their gut to grow and adapt."

Tappenden said if a portion of intestine is removed, the remaining segment will grow and become more functional in an attempt to compensate for the part that’s gone. "But you have to be able to feed patients orally for that change to happen, and these patients can’t take food orally because they get diarrhea and other digestive issues come into play."

Tappenden became interested in modifying IV solution so that it would cause the intestine to grow the way that taking oral nutrition does. She began by adding short-chain fatty acids, acids that are reduced when dietary fiber is fermented in the colon.

"For a long time, we’ve known that consuming a lot of dietary fiber causes the gut to grow, so we wondered what would happen if we added fermentative products to our IV solution," she said.

She tested her hypothesis using newborn piglets, an excellent model for the human infant because it has similar metabolism and physiology.

"And not only was there more gut, the gut that was there was more functional," she said. "When we added butyrate, the villi in the intestine increased in size, and they were able to transport more nutrients."

Tappenden said feeding butyrate intravenously should cause the intestine to grow so that eventually patients won’t have to rely on IVs. "But it will depend on the patient, how much intestine he has left, and where that intestine is," she said.

"We may not be able to take some patients off intravenous nutrition completely, but if patients can eat and just have one supplemental IV feeding daily, it would reduce the number of complications a great deal and increase their quality of life so much," she said.

Other researchers who contributed to the study were Anne L. Bartholome, David M. Albin, and David H. Baker, all of the University of Illinois, and Jens J. Holst of The Panum Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Phyllis Picklesimer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.news.uiuc.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Global study of world's beaches shows threat to protected areas

19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

New creepy, crawly search and rescue robot developed at Ben-Gurion U

19.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Metal too 'gummy' to cut? Draw on it with a Sharpie or glue stick, science says

19.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>