Bio & Medicine

Researchers suggest a potential novel treatment for leaky gut utilizing milk-derived extracellular vesicles.

The intestinal or gut barrier is important for ensuring that nutrients are absorbed and that harmful substances do not enter the bloodstream. Under unhealthy circumstances, the disturbance of the stomach obstruction might increase its penetrability and result in a “defective stomach.”

The “broken stomach” disorder frequently accompanies side effects like ongoing looseness of the bowels, clogging, or swelling. Numerous illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, have been linked to it.

While inflammatory bowel disease affects 1-3 out of every 10,000 Singaporeans, both conditions are extremely common in the general population, with the latter affecting approximately 40% of the country’s population. In any case, treatment choices for these two profoundly normal illnesses are restricted. As a result, repairing a leaky gut may be an option for treating these diseases.

“A leaky gut is a common side effect of many diseases.” However, whether the leaky gut is a symptom or a cause of certain disorders is controversial. Our findings suggest that treating the leaky gut with mEVs can improve both inflammatory bowel disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which appear to be unrelated disorders.”

Asst Prof Wang, the lead author of this study.

Simultaneously, milk, as nature’s most memorable useful food, assumes fundamental roles in the improvement of the gastrointestinal hindrance and stomach safe framework. Extracellular vesicles (mEVs), which are nanoparticles containing beneficial components that can enhance gut immunity and the quality of gut bacteria, are abundant in both human and bovine milk.

However, it is unclear whether mEVs treat leaky gut and protect the gut barrier.

A research team led by Assistant Professor Jiong-Wei Wang from the Nanomedicine Translational Research Programme and Centre for Nanomedicine at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS Medicine), and Professor Huaxi Yi from Ocean University of China investigated the potential treatment effects of mEVs on leaky gut. This was done in order to achieve this goal. Science Advances has published this research.

Using an in-house method developed by Asst. Prof. Wang and his team, the mEVs are obtained by removing lactose, proteins, and fat from milk. They found that gut barrier function is linked to large quantities of proteins and small nucleic acids carried by mEVs. The therapeutic properties of the mEVs extracted from cow’s milk and human breast milk are comparable. In laboratory models, the efficacy of mEVs as a treatment was demonstrated.

The researchers found that the models’ damaged gut barrier was repaired and intestinal inflammation was reduced after taking mEVs orally. All the more critically, the mEVs prevented the spillage of stomach bacterial poisons into the circulatory system, really deflecting poison-induced liver harm.

This outlines that oral organization of mEVs might possibly recuperate the broken stomach and successfully delay the movement of incendiary gut sickness and nonalcoholic greasy liver infection.

A common side effect of many diseases is a leaky gut. However, it is still up for debate whether leaky gut is a symptom or a cause of those diseases. ” Asst. Prof. Wang, the lead author of this study, stated, “Our research shows that treating the leaky gut with mEVs can ameliorate both inflammatory bowel disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, two types of diseases that are seemingly unrelated.”

Asst. Prof. Wang went on to say, “Another interesting finding is that mEVs extracted from milk produced at different stages after pregnancy—colostrum, transient, or mature milk—all exert similar gut barrier protection.”

Transitional milk is milk that is produced between two and three days after giving birth. Colostrum milk is the milk that is initially produced by the breast during pregnancy. The milk then steadily changes from colostrum to developed milk.

The research team says that an adult human might need to drink one liter of milk every day to recover from the aforementioned diseases. People with lactose intolerance will benefit more from mEVs.

The researchers are currently looking into the mechanisms that underlie the effects of the treatment. Additionally, the team is collaborating with physicians to investigate patient-based clinical trials in the near future.

More information: Lingjun Tong et al, Milk-derived extracellular vesicles protect intestinal barrier integrity in the gut-liver axis, Science Advances (2023). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.ade5041

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