Supplement helping treat inflammatory bowel disease


Wednesday 14th January, 2009

A daily supplement containing a natural hormone found in the body is helping to treat people with inflammatory bowel disease.

Melatonin regulates the body’s internal body clock and a supplement based on this compound is being used in a 12 week trial on patients who suffer ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis is thought to affect over 100,000 people in Britain and causes ulcers to develop in the colon and gut. Symptoms include diarrhoea (often containing blood and mucus), fatigue, abdominal pain and high fever.

Melatonin is produced in large quantities in the gut and is believed to protect the lining and reduce inflammation. The study found nearly half of the participants who used the melatonin supplement over an eight week period had improved symptoms compared to just 16% who used a placebo.

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