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Research group

The ageing gut (TAG)

About this group

Group information


Ida Schoultz

Research subject

The research group focus on the role of the gut barrier in age-related gut problems and late onset of the chronic inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (IBD). The main task of the gastrointestinal tract is absorption of nutrients and fluid, but the gastrointestinal barrier is also one of the body's most important barriers towards foreign substances. The intestinal mucosa is constantly exposed, via food and the body's own gut microbiota, to substances that can start an inflammatory reaction. If the intestinal barrier is broken, breakdown products from the intestinal flora as well as chemicals and food additives can pass through the mucosa and into the body, which can lead to or contribute to inflammation. An impaired gastrointestinal barrier with increased permeability is a hallmark of IBD. IBD usually affects younger adults, but the number of people getting the disease later in life is increasing. In addition, our research indicates that the gastrointestinal barrier is altered in age-related stomach problems such as constipation and diarrhoea.

In the group, we study the basic disease mechanisms related to the gastrointestinal barrier in individuals affected by IBD later in life or age-related stomach problems. We also study the effect of various medical treatments and dietary supplements, such as dietary fibre, on the intestinal mucosa. The goal is to increase the knowledge about why IBD now develops later in life and why the number of elderly people suffering from stomach problems is increasing. Our hope is that our research will add important knowledge to new treatment principles.

Research funding bodies

  • Bo Rydin Foundation