Diverticulosis is a common condition in developed countries that results from damage of the colonic mucosa. Age and genetic tendencies increase the odds; smoking and obesity are also risk factors. One major dietary factor is a menu high in animal fat yet low in fiber.
This is how fiber deficits come into play: decreased fiber exposes the colon wall to muscle contraction pressures which normally are juggling the foods passing through. Pouches or diverticuli form at the weakest sites. Nearly one-third of people will develop a complication: diverticulitis, bleeding, or perforation.
- High-fiber diet and anticholinergics in mild cases
- Low-fiber and antibiotics and other medications if infection erupts
- Post- recovery calls for a high fiber diet
The makeup of our microbial map changes based on diet and may trigger an inflammatory response which leads to diverticulosis.
One study pitted probiotics plus antibiotics against an antibiotic regimen alone.
Result: Average remission for the antibiotic regime was 2 months as compared to 14 months for the antibiotic plus probiotic regimen.
How may probiotics accomplish this?
Microbiota may change because of slow transit times—caused by low fiber—and inflammation caused by loitering stool. Probiotics may be useful in restoring gut flora.
Probiotics are thought to work by altering the local microflora in and around the diverticula of the colon and improve immune responses.
One research study from University Sapienza in Rome, Italy found that a strain of Lactobacillus paracasei with a high-fiber diet was effective in reducing pain and bloating in diverticular disease.
Much more work must be done but the exploration into microflora in diverticulosis seems only natural.