18.06.2018 change 18.06.2018

Newly discovered cellular mechanism may alleviate the symptoms of food allergies

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Researcher from the University of Warsaw discovered a cellular mechanism that can alleviate the symptoms of Crohn`s disease and even food allergies. Research continues and a patent application concerning the discovery has already been submitted.

"The discovery made by Dr. Ewa Kozłowska from the Department of Immunology at the Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw concerns the relationship between the occurrence of excessive immune reaction of the body and the amount of lipopolysaccharide, a component of the cell membrane of some bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract" - reads the release sent to PAP.

Dr. Kozłowska discovered that the same compound, adequately dosed and administered, can inhibit the excessive reaction of the immune system. With proper supplementation of lipopolysaccharide, the body`s immune response can be controlled.

The researcher has confirmed that the newly discovered cellular mechanism also alleviates the symptoms of Crohn`s disease. It is one of the most common conditions classified as an inflammatory bowel disease. Typical symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever and weight loss. The disease increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer.

"The mechanism of action indicates that lipopolysaccharide may alleviate the symptoms of Crohn`s disease or prevent it. In the case of mice, the effect of its use was a significant improvement. We assume that it will be similar in humans. At the same time, it can be assumed that the mechanism will work effectively in the case of food allergies. Currently conducted studies of an allergen are expected to confirm this hypothesis" - says Dr. Ewa Kozłowska from the Faculty of Biology of the University of Warsaw, quoted in the release.

"If Dr. Ewa Kozłowska`s research confirms the hypothesis, more precise targeted treatment of allergies and Crohn`s disease will be possible. The aim of therapy will be to suppress the excessive reaction of the immune system targeted at a specific allergen, and not the less beneficial global approach. In particular, it will be possible to create dietary supplements that can mitigate or cure reactions caused by such allergens as, for example, egg protein or peanuts, known to cause the strongest, life-threatening reactions" - says Robert Dwiliński, head of the University Technology Transfer Centre, who supports Dr. Kozłowska`s team in the commercialisation of the discovery.

According to the information sent to PAP, research on one of the allergens is currently underway. Obtaining confirmation will allow to assume that the mechanism will work for other allergens. Ultimately, researchers think about the production of supplements that will supplement lipopolysaccharide deficiencies in the intestines to achieve the correct level. The result would be alleviation of symptoms or a complete recovery by achieving a condition in which the immune system would not be excessively active in contact with the allergen. Ultimately, this would mean that it would be possible to bring relief to the growing group of allergy sufferers and patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases.

"The standard treatment currently applied in the case of inflammatory bowel diseases and food allergies consists in the use of glucocorticosteroids (popular steroids), anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs (which inhibit the adverse immune system response.) While effective, this method has a significant number of undesirable side effects. Steroids inhibit the body`s immune response globally, which makes the body more susceptible to other threats" - reads the release sent to PAP.

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