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News-in-brief / 06.17.15

Microbe L. lactis shows promise for ameliorating colitis

By Broad Communications

In a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researcher Wendy Garrett, of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute, and colleagues identified a strain of bacteria with the potential to abate gut inflammation. They found that Lactococcus lactis, used in the manufacture of dairy products, naturally releases an antioxidant known as superoxide dismutase A (SodA) — but only if ruptured by a specific, bacteria-attacking enzyme. This chain of events helps to correct an imbalance of chemically reactive molecules within the body associated with gut inflammation. These findings suggest a possible treatment avenue for inflammatory bowel disease and other colon-related ailments.