Nutritional and Probiotic Supplementation in Colitis Models
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- Nanau, R.M. & Neuman, M.G. Dig Dis Sci (2012) 57: 2786. doi:10.1007/s10620-012-2284-3
In vitro and animals models have long been used to study human diseases and identify novel therapeutic approaches that can be applied to combat these conditions. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two main entities of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There is an intricate relationship between IBD features in human patients, in vitro and animal colitis models, mechanisms and possible therapeutic approaches in these models, and strategies that can be extrapolated and applied in humans. Malnutrition, particularly protein-energy malnutrition and vitamin and micronutrient deficiencies, as well as dysregulation of the intestinal microbiota, are common features of IBD. Based on these observations, dietary supplementation with essential nutrients known to be in short supply in the diet in IBD patients and with other molecules believed to provide beneficial anti-inflammatory effects, as well as with probiotic organisms that stimulate immune functions and resistance to infection has been tested in colitis models. Here we review current knowledge on nutritional and probiotic supplementation in in vitro and animal colitis models. While some of these strategies require further fine-tuning before they can be applied in human IBD patients, their intended purpose is to prevent, delay or treat disease symptoms in a non-pharmaceutical manner.