Microbiome Bites Aug. 26th
1. Disrupting the gut microbiome with antibiotics accelerates development of type 1 diabetes in mice.
The microbiome plays an important role during the development of the immune system and metabolism in early life. Because the onset of juvenile (type 1) diabetes is increasing, researchers hypothesized that antibiotic use in early childhood might be involved in the development of the disease. Using a mouse model of type 1 diabetes the researchers found that exposure to antibiotics at a young age significantly disrupted the microbiome of the mice and increased their likelihood of developing diabetes compared to the control group. Read the paper here.
2. What's in Your Poo?
Fecal microbiome transplants (FMT) are proving to be an extremely effective way to treat recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infections. C. diff is often a normal part of your gut microbiome, but can grow out of control if the delicate balance of your gut microbiome is disturbed. The idea of isolating the specific bacteria that make FMTs successful, and putting them into a pill seems like a great way to overcome the gross factor associated with FMTs. However, are the bacteria all that is needed? An article published last month in PLoS Biology asks this question. It turns out there’s a lot of other crap in your crap, and this extra crap might also be functional. Read the paper here.
3. Butyrate may help to lower blood pressure in obese pregnant women.
The risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia is higher in obese pregnant women. A relatively small study of 70 overweight and obese pregnant women at 16 weeks gestation has found a decreased abundance of butyrate-producing bacteria. This led to a reduction butyrate production in the gut microbiota associated with increased blood pressure. The researchers suggest that increasing the butyrate-producing capacity (perhaps with a probiotic) may help to maintain a normal blood pressure in obese pregnant women. Read more here.
4. Your belly button is a rainforest of bacteria.
Because a grad student wanted to explore belly buttons, we now know of 1000 bacterial species that could be new to science! A team at North Carolina state university is now on a mission to uncover the secrets they may hold. Read more.