Watching funny films helps the tummy! Or, more precisely, faecal flora

People with atopic dermatitis (AD) have altered faecal flora, namely an increase in colonisation of Staphylococcus aureus or Enterobacteria, and a decrease in Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium. Because of this, faecal levels of polyamines or bacterial metabolite are reduced. Stress also creates mucosal dysfunction in the intestines against bacteria and impaired intestinal barrier function.

The effect of watching funny films was measured on the levels of faecal flora and levels of polyamines. Forty-eight people, half with AD and half without, viewed seven unfunny films or seven funny films on seven consecutive days. Faecal samples were obtained before and after, and levels of flora and polyamines were measured.

The researchers, whose study is published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, found that there was no effect in either group of healthy individuals, but in those with AD watching funny films there was an increase in the colonisation of both Lactobacilli and Bifidobacterium, and decrease in Staphylococcus aureus and Enterobacteria, and increased levels of polyamines. On those with AD watching unfunny films, there was no such increase or decrease.

The researchers concluded that watching funny films modulates faecal levels of polyamines by restoring intestinal flora in atopic dermatitis.

Source: European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

June 2011

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