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Fungus Linked to Dandruff May Worsen Bowel Disease

According to New York, March 6 (IANS), A fungus associated to dandruff in the hair may worsen intestinal disorder such as Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in patients with specific genetic makeup, as the new research has found.

Malassezia restricta yeasts found in oily skin and scalp follicles are associated with several skin conditions. Moreover, these microscopic fungi also often end up in the gut.

To be specific, M. restricta was elevated in Crohn’s patients who had a genetic variation known as the IBD CARD9 risk allele, according to the study published the journal Cell Microbe & Host.

Crohn’s illnesses is a type of IBD that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, malnutrition, and abdominal pain.

“We were surprised to find that Malassezia restricta was more common on intestinal tissues surface in Crohn’s disease patients than in healthy people,” stated study co-author David Underhill from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

“Further, the presence of Malassezia was linked to a common variation in a gene known to be important for immunity to fungi – a genetic signature more common in patients with Crohn’s disease than the healthy population,”  Underhill supposed.

IBD is characterized by changes in immune comebacks to the intestinal microbiome.

Whereas most studies on the microbiome focus on bacteria, Underhill’s team probes the fungi’s presence and its potential role in intestinal disease.

Any change in the intestinal fungi such as M. restricta – and host responses to these fungi – may be a factor in worsening symptoms that contribute to disease in a subset of patients with Crohn’s disease, alleged co-author Jose Limon, a Cedars-Sinai research team member.

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