Crohn's Disease Linked to Past Food Poisoning

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By Gillie Houston Posted October 10, 2016

Food poisoning's negative effects could last long beyond the initial stomach pain.

Past food poisoning victims, beware. New scientific evidence has shown that the ailment's negative bacterial effects could last long beyond the initial stomach pain. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada have found that certain bacteria present in the gut as a result of a bad meal can increase the chance of developing Crohn's disease later.

Crohn's, a bowel disease that results in inflammation of the intestines, is "a lifelong disease that often strikes people in their early years, leading to decades of suffering, an increased risk of colorectal cancer, and an increased risk of premature death," according to senior study author Brian Coombes, a professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences.

The McMaster research team was particularly interested in identifying the root of this disease, as one in 150 Canadians suffers from Crohn's or colitis, making it one of the most affected countries in the world.

The results of the study, which was funded in part by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, found that mice infected with the same form of gut bacteria caused by food poisoning were at an increased likelihood of developing a bowel disease down the line– long after the initial sickness had passed.

Coombes hopes this research will eventually help to pinpoint a cure– or preventative measure– for Crohn's moving forward, noting, "We need to understand the root origins of this disease—and to use this information to invigorate a new pipeline of treatments and preventions."

Until then, as always, steer clear of any suspicious looking taco stands or sidewalk hot dog carts.

(h/t Science Daily).

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