University of Missouri researchers are studying ways to provide relief to people with digestive health conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Dr. Satya Rachagani is experimenting on mice using juice from a red cabbage because colitis in mice closely resembles human ulcerative colitis, a type of IBD.

“We observed that the mice treated with the red cabbage juice had significantly minimal diarrhea, blood in feces, (and) no weight loss,” he said. “They survived like normal mice.

His natural approach increases the abundance of good bacteria for your gut.

“Not all bacteria is bad,” he explained. “In this case, the red cabbage juice actually increases the number of good bacteria in the gut, which, you know, resulted in a lower colonic inflammation, which is a good sign.”

His team found that the juice improved gut health and relieved symptoms of IBD in mice.

“Our overall goal is to improve body immune system as well as the overall health of the digestive system and to address the inflammation that is causing digestive discomfort in those patients with the inflammatory bowel disease,” he said.

Unlike cabbage juice, Rachagani explained that most treatments only provide symptomatic relief, but do not change the overall course of the disease.

An estimated 3 million Americans suffer from IBD, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Primary symptoms include acute abdominal pain, weight loss, anemia, and diarrhea. In extreme cases, IBD can increase the risk of death, if left untreated.

Before you start to buy red cabbages, he recommends you first talk to your doctor if you are experiencing IBD symptoms.

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