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Soya supplement can treat colitis

A diet supplement derived from soya lecithin can help patient of ulcerative colitis reduce their dependence on corticosteroids.

Soya supplement can treat colitis

A diet supplement derived from soya lecithin can help patients of ulcerative colitis reduce their dependence on corticosteroids. Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. Some previous studies have shown that low levels of phosphatidylcholine in the mucous tissues in the colon can lead to the development of ulcerative colitis. Soya lecithin, like soya isoflavone concentrate, is an extract of the soybean. It contains a substance called phosphatidylcholine, which is responsible for its medicinal effects. Although long-term steroid treatment is discouraged in ulcerative colitis, there are very few alternatives left when treatment with immunosuppressants fail. To assess the process of withdrawal from steroids in patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, researchers at the University Hospital Heidelberg in Germany randomly assigned 60 patients to receive phosphatidylcholine or a placebo four times daily for 12 weeks. The preparations were encapsulated so that they would not be released until they reached the intestines. The results showed that phosphatidylcholine reduced corticosteroid dependence more than placebo in patients with chronic ulcerative colitis not controlled with steroids. Nearly half the patients in the phosphatidylcholine group were able to stop using steroids while maintaining a low clinical disease activity index or improving the index. By contrast, just 3 of 30 patients in the placebo group achieved this outcome. Mild bloating was the most common side effect seen with phosphatidylcholine use. Therefore, phosphatidylcholine can provide a valuable treatment option for ulcerative colitis and could further the understanding of the disease
Annals of Internal Medicine,
November 2007
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