Emerging evidence suggests that microbes in the digestive system have a big influence on human health and may play a role in the onset of disease throughout the body. Now, in a study appearing in ACS Chemical Biology, scientists report that they have potentially found a way to use chemical compounds to target and inhibit the growth of specific microbes in the gut associated with diseases without causing harm to other beneficial organisms.
The digestive system is crammed with trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that help process food. Recent studies suggest that the changes in these gut flora, or microbiome, may play a role in the onset of a host of diseases and conditions including obesity, diabetes, cancer, allergies, asthma, autism and multiple sclerosis. Antibiotics can help regulate the microbiome, but bacterial resistance is on the rise. In addition, antibiotics can wipe out some of the organisms that contribute to a healthy microbiome, and the microbes that take their place can sometimes cause more harm than good. Researchers have also investigated using probiotics and fecal transplants to resolve some of these problems. But to date, few have really looked at using non-microbicidal small molecules to alter the microbiome in a targeted way to improve health. To help fill this gap, Daniel Whitehead, Kristi Whitehead and colleagues sought to use a chemical compound to precisely target and disrupt the metabolic processes of members of the Bacteroides genus, a group of bacteria commonly found in the gut that appear to be associated with the onset of type I diabetes in genetically susceptible individuals.
In laboratory studies, the researchers found that small concentrations of acarbose, a drug used to treat diabetes, significantly disrupted the activity of a group of proteins involved in the Starch Utilization System (Sus). The model bacteria called Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (Bt), as well as other Bacteroidesmembers, have this system. With Sus inhibited, Bt couldn’t metabolize a pair of complex carbohydrates that are not digested by humans once they reach the colon, but that are vital to the survival of the microbes. As a result, the bacteria cannot grow. The team found that acarbose was specific, having similar effects on another Bacteroides bacteria, but little or no effect on other types of gut microbes. The researchers conclude that with further study it may be possible to develop drugs that target gut bacteria with pinpoint accuracy to permanently alter the composition of the microbiome and, in turn, prevent or treat disease
The Latest on: Gut microbiome
No news articles
via Google News
The Latest on: Gut microbiome
- Researchers discover new link between a class of persistent pollutants and gut microbiomeon December 3, 2020 at 4:05 pm
Researchers at Duke University have completed the most comprehensive study to date on how a class of persistent pollutants called semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) are associated with the gut ...
- Gut microbiome snapshot could reveal chemical exposures in childrenon December 3, 2020 at 10:01 am
Researchers have completed the most comprehensive study to date on how a class of persistent pollutants called semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) are associated with the gut microbiome in human ...
- Spatial maps give new view of gut microbiomeon December 3, 2020 at 7:47 am
Cornell researchers developed an imaging tool to create intricate spatial maps of the locations and identities of hundreds of different microbial species, such as those that make up the gut microbiome ...
- Gut microbiome disturbances linked to major depressive disorderon December 3, 2020 at 6:52 am
A team of researchers from several institutions in China, and two in the U.S. reports a link between human gut microbiome disturbances and major depressive disorder (MDD). In their paper published in ...
- French startup lands $8.7M to advance microbiome therapieson December 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm
MaaT Pharma is pushing two therapies through clinical trials that are designed improve survival for patients with blood cancers and other diseases. Despite high-profile hiccups, the field of ...
- Major depressive disorder may be defined by a distinct gut microbiomeon December 2, 2020 at 11:27 am
Scientists have identified 3 bacteriophages, 47 bacterial species, and 50 fecal metabolites that were significantly more or less abundant in people with major depressive disorder (MDD) compared with ...
- Gut bacteria can help rebuild the immune systemon December 2, 2020 at 10:27 am
A first-of-its-kind study shows how ‘good' genera of gut bacteria can help support the correct functioning of the immune system in humans.
- Active Vitamin D Levels Linked to Gut Microbiomeon December 1, 2020 at 4:00 am
New research demonstrates that the makeup of a person's gut microbiome is linked to their levels of active vitamin D.
- Study reveals connection between gut bacteria and vitamin D levelson November 30, 2020 at 12:13 pm
Our gut microbiomes—the many bacteria, viruses and other microbes living in our digestive tracts—play important roles in our health and risk for disease in ways that are only beginning to be ...
via Bing News