microplastics linked to IBD

A new study has discovered an interesting link between microplastics and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The findings, published within the Environmental Science & Technology journal, revealed that patients with IBD had up to 50% more microplastics in their stool.

So, what does these new findings mean for patients and could microplastics cause IBD? Discover what we know so far, below.

Study reveals link between microplastics and IBD

The new study was carried out by Chinese researchers. They wanted to see whether there was a link between microplastics and IBD. In particular, they wanted to determine whether the severity of the condition impacted microplastic levels in patients.

It was a small-scale study, involving 102 participants. A total of 50 healthy participants and 52 participants with IBD took part in the study from across China. Faeces samples were analysed and those with IBD were found to have 50% more microplastics than the healthy participants in their stools.

It was also discovered that those with more severe IBD had higher levels of microplastics in their faeces. In both groups, the most common microplastics discovered in the faeces were Polyethylene Terephthalate and Polyamide. These are found in textiles, food packaging, food containers, and plastic bottles.

It was revealed through a questionnaire that those who had the highest levels of microplastics in their bodies, were those who ate takeaway food, and drank bottled water. They were also more exposed to dust in their everyday environment.

Could microplastics cause IBD?

The results of the latest study show that there is a definite link between IBD and microplastics. However, it doesn’t reveal whether this could be the cause of the problem.

The study does reveal that increased microplastics in the stool are typically caused by lifestyle choices. It also links higher microplastic levels with more severe forms of IBD. So, there is a loose link suggesting microplastics could worsen the conditions.

Further research will need to be undertaken to see if microplastics could be contributing to the cause of IBD. They are certainly known to be harmful to our health in large qualities. Unfortunately, many consumers have no idea how much microplastics they are exposed to, or even what they are. So, why should you cut down on your microplastic consumption?

Why cut down on microplastics?

Currently, there isn’t any research to reveal the impact microplastics have on our health. Without any evidence, it is difficult to determine what they could be doing to our bodies. It is known that nanoparticles can alter our bodies on a cellular level. However, microplastics haven’t been studied enough to see if they cause the same kinds of effects.

Logically, consuming a large amount of microplastics cannot be good for the body. The fact they have shown to be more present in severe cases of IBD suggests they could be damaging to our health. So, reducing our exposure to them is only going to protect our health.

If you are struggling to control your IBD, there are treatments available. Call 01926 492969 to book a consultation with Mr Michael Stellakis to discover the best ways to manage the condition.