Algae Extract Could Improve Intestinal Absorption

by Gopalan on Oct 12 2008 10:24 AM

An algae extract could prove an effective remedy to short bowel syndrome (SBS), a clinical condition characterized by diarrhea, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, malabsorption, and progressive malnutrition. The condition is related to a wide resection of the small intestine.

The most important therapeutic objectives in the management of SBS are maintenance the patient's calorie intake and nutritional status. In such cases enteral feeding is resorted to.

"Enteral feeding" refers to the delivery of a nutritionally complete feed containing protein, carbohydrate, fat, water, minerals and vitamins directly into the small intestine.

Enteral feeding should be considered for malnourished patients, or in those at risk of malnutrition who have a functional gastrointestinal tract but are unable to maintain an adequate or safe oral intake.

Several enteral nutrition (EN) products have been used for SBS. The new algae extract could be effective in such a context.

A research team led by Mustafa Kerem from Gazi University Experimental Surgery Center, Turkey, found a positive effect of chlorella crude extract (CCE) on intestinal adaptation of rats which had undergone short bowel syndrome.

Chlorella is a species of green algae that grows in fresh water. It has been consumed as a food source for centuries in mainly Japan and other Far East countries, besides, it's healing properties has enhanced it's consumption too.

Administration of CCE lead significant increase in intestinal villi height and villi width, intestinal protein and DNA amount, and serum citruline levels which is a sign of improved intestinal absorption. algs which are easily found widely in salt and fresh waters and can be generated easily, can be used in clinical settings.

CCE has beneficial role in intestinal adaptation. It seems that it can be an alternative to the other commercial enteral and parenteral products.

The findings are published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.