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It May Not Just Be Diet: How DNA Can Influence GI Illnesses Such as IBS

0 2 years ago
  • About 10 to 15 per cent of adults in the United States have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Researchers say that genetics may play a role in the risk of developing IBS and other gastrointestinal ailments.
  • In a study, the researchers say some common DNA characteristics were found in people who have developed IBS.
  • Experts say that although it’s likely genetic plays a role in IBS, there are also dietary and other lifestyle factors that are important.

Genetics could play a role in gastrointestinal illnesses as well as predispose certain people to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In a study published today in Cell Genomics, researchers reported there are specific DNA characteristics in people who have higher or lower stool frequency compared with their peers.

The study is the latest in a growing body of research suggesting that gut conditions like IBS may be tied to genetics.

“These results are very exciting and warrant follow-up studies: once more stool frequency genes are unequivocally identified, we may have a battery of new drug targets to be exploited for the treatment of constipation, diarrhoea and common dysmotility syndromes like IBS,” said Mauro D’Amato, PhD, a research professor at CIC nioGUNE in Spain and coordinator of the team of researchers, in a press release.

The researchers used data from 167,875 people in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and the United States.

They compared the participants’ genetic makeup with their responses to queries regarding how frequently they had bowel movements.

The researchers say that they found evidence of a common genetic background related to both stool frequency and the development of IBS.

The researchers gave a numerical value to their genetic findings called a polygenic score. This is a value that explains the likelihood of having an altered stool frequency


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