New Treatment for Constipation

Constipation is definitely not a glamorous topic. In reality, it affects nearly 30 million Americans and costs more than $1 billion annually to evaluate and treat. While not often life threatening, the pain, bloating, discomfort, and straining associated with constipation lead sufferers to focus on one thing — relief. Mayo Clinic researchers recently had success in the clinical trial of a new medication shown to provide relief from constipation in a way that capitalizes on the body’s natural processes.

The drug, called A3309, targets bile acid recycling in the body. Bile acids, created in the liver and released into the digestive system, aid in breaking down fats and absorbing them into the body. Bile acids also are natural laxatives that promote bowel movements by softening stool and speeding up how fast stool moves through the colon. During digestion, most bile acids are absorbed back into the blood in the lower small intestines for recycling, letting very little bile acids to leak into the colon to help facilitate bowel movements. A3309 works by inhibiting bile acid absorption in the small intestines, allowing more bile acids to enter the colon to stimulate bowel movements.

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