UK Military Medicine & Gut Research

There are currently no on-going MOD-sponsored research programmes that specifically consider the gut.

However, the Military Enteric Disease Group (MEDG) is in the process of evaluating changes in gut microbiota in relation to Service personnel who have been diagnosed with ‘Traveller’s Diarrhoea’.

There are no plans at present to implement any changes to extant MOD healthcare, which will alter the microbiota of Service personnel; however, the MEDG is considering an investigation into the effects of probiotics/prebiotics specifically in relation to the risk of Traveller’s Diarrhoea.

Diarrhoea is a common problem affecting between 20% and 60% of travellers (BMJ, 2016). Travellers’ diarrhoea is defined as an increase in frequency of bowel movements to three or more loose stools per day during a trip abroad, usually to a less economically developed region (BMJ, 2016). This is usually an acute, self limiting condition and is rarely life threatening. In mild cases it can affect the enjoyment of a holiday, and in severe cases it can cause dehydration and sepsis.

References

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i1937 (Published 19 April 2016).

FOI 2018/03526 dated 23 March 2018.

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