Two new studies led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis show that effects of gut bacteria reach far beyond the gastrointestinal tract. Manipulating the makeup of microbes in the gut has the potential to provide new ways to treat and ultimately help prevent childhood malnutrition.
Guided by the immune system, researchers have identified types of gut bacteria in both healthy and undernourished children in Malawi that are linked to nutritional health and that have diagnostic and therapeutic implications for childhood undernutrition.
New research from School of Medicine scientists may help explain why millions of malnourished children suffer from stunted growth and fail to thrive after treatment with nutrient-rich therapeutic foods.
Friendly microbes in the intestinal tracts of healthy American children have numerous antibiotic resistance genes, according to results of a pilot study by scientists at the School of Medicine. The genes are cause for concern because they can be shared with harmful microbes, interfering with the effectiveness of antibiotics in ways that can contribute to serious illness and, in some cases, death. Pictured is the study’s senior author, Gautum Dantas, PhD.
The mix of microbes living inside the gut can protect against obesity, but a healthy diet is critical, according to School of Medicine scientists who transplanted intestinal microbes from obese and lean twins into mice and fed the animals different diets. Pictured are researchers Vanessa Ridaura, a graduate student, and Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology.
A study of young twins in Malawi, in sub-Saharan Africa, finds that bacteria living in the intestine are an underlying cause of a form of severe acute childhood malnutrition.
Two new studies showcase the dynamic relationship between components of the diet and the intestinal microbiome. The research provides a foundation for improving human health by designing diets and foods that enhance microbes’ ability to capture specific food ingredients or that enrich the presence of beneficial microbes.
Switching from a low-fat, plant-based diet to one high in fat and sugar leads to obesity-linked microbes in the gut.
A School of Medicine study showed that germ-free mice that received two prominent human gut microbes got fatter.
Researchers have found that two common organisms collude and collaborate to increase the amount of calories harvested from a class of carbohydrates found in food sweeteners. In the study, conducted in previously germ-free mice, colonization with two prominent human gut microbes led to fatter mice. Scientists at the School of Medicine called the results an illustration of how understanding the menagerie of microorganisms that live in our guts can provide new insights into health.