Relationship Between Ulcerative Colitis and Probiotics

, , Leave a comment

Gut health and probiotics are well-known partners. Helpful in treating various gastrointestinal issues, such as gastroenteritis, and boosting general immunity.

To determine if probiotics are helpful in the treatment or prevention of ulcerative colitis, it is necessary first to understand the condition.

What Is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is characterized by structural changes in the intestinal lining that ultimately lead to sores – ulceration. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

What Causes Ulcerative Colitis?

Research has been unable to pinpoint what triggered this abnormality. However, two hypotheses explain this phenomenon.

  • Immune system malfunction:

A dysfunctional immune system, which an abnormal response may trigger, is one probable cause. It misidentifies digestive tract cells and intestinal bacteria as foreign invaders. As a result, the immune system targets the colon, resulting in inflammation and ulcers. 

  • Heredity history: 

This disease sometimes runs in families; thus, genetic material may also play a significant impact. However, this condition does not transfer to the offspring. 

In most cases, symptoms develop gradually, followed by the rapid onset of mild-to-severe flare-ups. In addition, this illness is followed by diarrhea with pus or blood, fever, cramps, weight loss, and rectal pain.

The Traditional Treatment of UC

The standard medical treatment for ulcerative colitis consists of two essential parts:

  • Treating active flare-ups:

Drugs that suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation are used to treat active ulcerative colitis flare-ups. 

  • Preventing flare-ups:

Medication administered on a long-term basis is effective in preventing ulcerative colitis symptoms. However, this may add to the side effects.

Relationship Between Ulcerative Colitis and Probiotics

Probiotics are bacterium strains commonly known as “good bacteria.” They propose to promote gut health by populating the intestinal wall with healthy and gut-friendly bacteria.

Probiotics can be found naturally in many foods and even inside your body. They are also accessible as supplements in various forms, such as tablets and capsules.

Probiotics can boost the number of beneficial bacteria which are out-balanced due to abnormal immune responses. 

Mechanism of Action of Probiotics for Gut Health

Probiotics, as per pieces of evidence, are in charge of keeping your immune system in check. Your mucosal immune system in your gut (which produces immunoglobulins and other protective substances) will be activated. As a bonus, probiotics correct the mucosal immune system’s function, halting further inflammation.

They can also repair the damaged intestinal lining caused by ulcers. They accomplish this by stimulating mucus production and preserving the integrity of the intestinal tight junction. Therefore, mucus production safeguards the intestinal wall by coating it in a protective layer. As a result, you may be able to avoid getting sick from potentially harmful bacteria in the food or drink you ingested.

Probiotics and the Treatment of UC Flares

Clinical studies indicate that the use of probiotics to cure flare-ups of ulcerative colitis is not assured. Though they may reduce the frequency or severity of flare-ups when combined with conventional ulcerative colitis treatment.

Probiotics and the Remission of UC Flares

The effectiveness of probiotics for this aim is more encouraging. After years of study, probiotics are safe and effective in preventing ulcerative colitis flares.

It is a more cost-effective option than other UC treatments and may also be safer for long-term use. This may also aid in warding off other gastrointestinal diseases, like C. difficile infection.

It is recommended to use probiotics with caution if you have a compromised immune system.


Should you take probiotics if you have ulcerative colitis? 

The answer is affirmative. Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote the growth of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract. They promote normal mucosal homeostasis and prevent a recurrence of ulcerative colitis symptoms.

Which probiotic bacteria are good for ulcerative colitis? 

Probiotics are present in several food items. Following are the evidence-backed probiotics that are good for ulcerative colitis:

  • E. coli Nissle
  • Lactobacillus species:
    • Lactobacillus acidophilus
    • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Bifidobacteria
  • Saccharomyces boulardii

Do probiotics help colon inflammation? 

By suppressing inflammation and calming the immunological response, probiotics restore a healthy bacterial balance to the gut. According to studies, probiotics containing this specific strain of L. acidophilus may be useful in treating inflammatory bowel disease.

Do prebiotics help with ulcerative colitis? 

Prebiotics has shown potential for specific UC patients, but they are not a universal solution. They may even make existing conditions worse in some people. These include irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and FODMAPs intolerance.

How many probiotics should I take for ulcerative colitis? 

Long-term ulceration of the colon may wipe out millions of beneficial microorganisms. Probiotics are typically taken for at least 7–10 days to colonize the gut.

What supplements should someone with ulcerative colitis take? 

When the intestinal lining is damaged by ulcerative colitis, vital elements, including vitamins and minerals, may be poorly absorbed. Deficiencies in iron, vitamin D, calcium, folic acid, and vitamin B12 are all very frequent. Taking multivitamins may be the answer to the problem.

Does Vitamin D Help with ulcerative colitis? 

There is strong evidence that vitamin D aids in preventing and treating ulcerative colitis. Vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties are well-known, and it has been shown to boost immunological response and gut health.

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are encouraged to take vitamin D because of its role in calcium absorption.

Can yogurt cure ulcerative colitis? 

“Good” bacteria, or probiotics, are found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir, aiding digestive health. Studies have shown that including probiotic-rich foods in your diet may help you maintain recovery from ulcerative colitis.

How do you stop a colitis flare-up?

Flares of ulcerative colitis can continue for days or weeks, while durations of remission might stretch into the years.

You can manage colitis flare by following the simple tips given below:

  • Avoid certain foods and beverages – particularly dairy – that may aggravate your signs and symptoms, especially during a flare-up.
  • High fiber intake, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, may also trigger your UC symptoms.
  • Eating small frequent meals is more suitable to lower the burden of digestion when you have colitis. 
  • Be adequately hydrated.
  • Avoid any beverage that contains caffeine to avoid bloating and diarrhea. 
  • Opt for proper meditation since stress may not be any trigger for UC, but it may make your symptoms worse. 

Author: Samsa Latif

Facebook Comments
Help us improve. Please rate this article:

Leave a Reply