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Science
GUT REACTIONS
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A window on gut function, failure and treatment
Wednesdays from 19 January 2005 9.00-9.30pm

Geoff Watts examines how research and technological advances are unravelling some of the mysteries of the gastrointestinal tract.

The Gut
A view of the gut

Programme 1
Wednesday 19th January, 9.00pm

A "gut feeling" is becoming recognised as more than a poetic turn of phrase. 

Researchers have discovered that the gut, with its millions of nerve cells, acts as the body's second brain.

Could this hold the key to targeting treatment for diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome?

Gut Reactions hears from pioneering gastroenterologists who are shedding new light on gut motility and the gut-brain link.


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A doctor examines a bowel scan
A doctor examines a bowel scan

Programme 2
Wednesday 26 January, 9.00pm

The second programme examines the relationship between the guts and the immune system.

Packed away neatly inside your abdomen, your intestines don't take up much room.  But rolled out, their surface area would cover two tennis courts.

Geoff Watts finds out how the body defends this huge area from attack by marauding bacteria.

If doctors can understand this relationship, they could offer effective treatments for inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. 


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Programme 3
Wednesday 2 February, 9.00pm

The final programme looks at the microbes living in our guts.

Food poisoning and waterborne diseases, like cholera and typhoid, are caused by ingesting pathogenic bugs. 

Now, thanks to well publicised live yogurt products, we are becoming aware of so-called good 'probiotic' gut bacteria.

But do they really work?


Listen again Listen again to Programme 3
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