Interesting study here on the possible causal link of early antibiotic use and coeliac disease. As we have said many times there seems to be a trigger that ‘switches on’ the gluten genes and that may well be a drug or change in the so-called ‘microbiome’, the internal gut environment.
I have found that, in the most sensitive TGF people, it is usually the probiotics they need to start with – and going back to the infant ones is key. In fact, I recently read a piece about the importance of the baby bacteria in barrier hyper-permeability.
In essence, the researchers, writing in the American Journal of Physiology, used a ‘conditioned medium’ made up of factors from Bifido Infantis to see what effect they had on barrier integrity and tight junctions – the very things we know gluten messes about with. You can read the really technical piece, but essentially, they concluded:
“…orally administered conditioned medium from B. infantis is effective in reducing colonic permeability and attenuating inflammation…this protection involves effects on tight junction proteins and is mediated through the MAPK pathway. In that altered gut permeability is thought to drive gut inflammation in many different autoimmune diseases”
In other words, the factors found in Infantis can reduce permeability and inflammation by having a direct effect on the barrier integrity. Interesting that they use a ‘conditioned medium’ rather than the infantis itself – is that because it is easier/cheaper to produce, maybe? The researchers were studying the VSL#3 probiotic mix originally so perhaps that is what’s in that. Also, we must remember that this is an animal study and therefore not wholly applicable to humans, but it has been borne out in other studies and, in my own tiny way, I have seen the live bacteria help clinically.
So, could it be that early antibiotic exposure somehow affects the infantis bacteria population or affects how they can operate, thus causing permeability early on and setting off the gut inflammatory cascade we know can happen in any form of IBD and ultimately auto-immune diseases? Don’t know but I wouldn’t be surprised.
Either way, I am glad I have put the Infantis as the number one supplement in the Barrier Plan. Currently, I advise it specifically if the person wasn’t breastfed or had health issues before 4 yrs old, but now I am going to change it to if antibiotics or any drugs were taken before four, just to make sure we don’t miss this crucial step.
Read the antibiotic exposure abstract here:
Interesting jigsaw pieces, huh?