CHENNAI: Consumption of pazhaya soru or fermented rice has saved many from landing in operation theatres for the treatment of inflammatory bowel ailments like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, said doctors at the Institute of Surgical Gastroenterology of the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital.
The doctors, over the past several years, have been noticing that consumption of fermented rice significantly improved the condition of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD); inflammation in part or all of the digestive tract; and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This has prompted them to undertake a study on the probiotics (good microorganisms) in such foods.
“I started observing the patients put on fermented rice diet in 1997. Many showed phenomenal improvement. It even helped patients avoid surgery,” said Dr S Jeswanth, Director of the Institute of Surgical Gastroenterology and principal investigator of the study. Over the past year, around 22 patients are being observed, and their condition improved. At least three patients with Crohin’s disease didn’t require surgery, Jeswanth added.
The institute sought funds for the study from the Tamil Nadu Innovative Initiatives (TANII) in 2019, and it granted Rs 2.7 crore for the study, expected to last around two years, in March 2020. On March 10, 2021, the institute received clearance for the study from the Institutional Ethical Committee.
Dr A Amudhan, Senior Assistant Professor, Institute of Surgical Gasteroenterology, said, “Apart from IBS and IBD, it also helps keep diabetes in check and acts as an immunity booster. But, we need to prove them scientifically,” he added.
Dr M Sathish Devakumar, Assistant Professor, Institute of Surgical Gastroenterology, said they are planning to recruit 100 patients, of which 50 will be in the control group and 50 in the study group. While the study group will be given fermented rice, the control group will be given regular medication and a normal diet. The patients would be followed up for 3-6 months.
Samples sent to laboratory
Samples of fermented rice have been sent to the TANUVAS laboratory. The rice would be fermented in different natural conditions to see which arrangement best promotes the growth of the microorganisms