Tag Archives: inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease and asthma

People with diseases of their airways, such as asthma, are more likely to have an inflammatory bowel disease, a new study has found.

This marks the first population-based study to investigate the link between diseases of the airways and the incidence of bowel diseases.

Canadian researchers used a health database to identify patients with two common diseases of the airways, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Over 136,000 patients with asthma and almost 144,000 patients with COPD were identified.

The participants were then further assessed to identify those with inflammatory bowel disease, which refers to the conditions, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

These conditions affect around 15,000 people in Ireland and symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss. Left uncontrolled, symptoms may flare up, causing severe abdominal pain and frequent visits to the bathroom.

The study found that the incidence of Crohn’s disease was 55% higher in people with COPD and 27% higher in people with asthma, compared to the general population.



Meanwhile, the incidence of ulcerative colitis was 30% higher in those with COPD.

“These findings have important implications for the early detection of inflammatory bowel disease in airway disease patients. Although a link has previously been suggested, this is the first study to find significantly increased rates of inflammatory bowel disease incidence in people with asthma and COPD.

“If we can confirm a link between the two conditions it will help diagnose and treat people sooner, reducing their symptoms and improving their quality of life,” the researchers said.

Details of these findings are published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Turmeric pills to boost immune system

A compound found in turmeric may soon be available in the form of daily pills to boost your immunity and combat inflammation in the body.

A modified formulation of curcumin, a naturally occurring compound found in turmeric, releases its anti-inflammatory goodness throughout the body, the findings showed.

Although known for promoting health by lowering inflammation, currently available curcumin supplements are not absorbed well by the body.

Most curcumin in food or supplements stays in the gastrointestinal tract, and any portion that is absorbed is metabolised quickly.

“This study suggests that we have identified a better and more effective way to deliver curcumin and know what diseases to use it for so that we can take advantage of its anti-inflammatory power,” said lead author of the study Nicholas Young from Ohio State University.

Curcumin powder mixed with castor oil and polyethylene glycol in a process called nano-emulsion, has the best potential against macrophage-associated inflammation, the researchers found in a mice study.

Macrophages are important cells of the immune system.



Overactive macrophages has been linked to cardiovascular disease, disorders that accompany obesity, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and lupus-related nephritis.

“We envision that this nutraceutical could be used one day both as a daily supplement to help prevent certain diseases and as a therapeutic drug to help combat the bad inflammation observed in many diseases,” Young pointed out.

“The distinction will then be in the amount given – perhaps a low dose for daily prevention and higher doses for disease suppression,” Young added.

The term nutraceutical refers to foods or nutrients that provide medical or health benefits.

The study appeared in the journal PLOS ONE.