Ongoing Research Funded by DHF

Atrantil Supplement for Methane Predominate Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

2021  | Disease: General GastroenterologyGeneral Gastroenterology

Principal Researcher: Darren M. Brenner

Co-Principal Researcher: Gregory Dean | Co-Principal Researcher: Stephen B. Hanauer, MD | Co-Principal Researcher: Imran Nizamuddin | 

Principal Investigator: Darren Brenner, MD

Intestinal bacterial overgrowth (IBO) occurs when excessive amounts of bacteria build up in the small intestine (which is usually nearly sterile). These bacteria ferment ingested food, producing hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide. These intestinal gases can induce GI symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, distention, diarrhea, and constipation. Antibiotics often help, but for some patients, disruptive digestive symptoms will persist. IBO is subcategorized into two types: 1.) small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and 2.) intestinal methanogenic overgrowth. Recent studies suggest that increased methane production may come from the overgrowth of a specific type of bacteria. No current therapies exist to treat methane predominate IBO. An initial study of the herbal supplement Atrantil has shown promise. Investigating the potential benefit of this “holistic” treatment, Dr. Brenner will conduct a trial of Atrantil in 30 patients at the Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Center. Researchers will evaluate Atrantil’s impact on reducing methane levels, lessening symptoms, and enhancing quality of life. The team believes Atrantil could offer an inexpensive and safe treatment for IBO.

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