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Gut Microbiota Transplantation May Prevent Development Of Diabetes And Fatty Liver Disease

Liver steatosis (fatty liver disease) as seen ...

Liver steatosis (fatty liver disease) as seen on CT (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 20 April 2012 article at Medical News Today

Exciting new data presented at the International Liver Congress™ 2012 shows the gut microbiota’s causal role in the development of diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), independent of obesity.(1) Though an early stage animal model, the French study highlights the possibility of preventing diabetes and NAFLD with gut microbiota transplantation – the engrafting of new microbiota, usually through administering faecal material from a healthy donor into the colon of a diseased recipient.(2) …

…”This study shows that different microbiota cause different metabolic responses in animals. By implanting microbiota from healthy mice, the study authors prevented the development of liver inflammation and insulin resistance, both indications of liver disease and diabetes. Thus, gut microbiota transplants could have a therapeutic role in the development of these diseases.”

The RR mice also showed lower levels of microorganisms than usually found in the healthy gut. Lachnospiraceae was identified as the species most important in developing fatty liver and insulin resistance.

At present, the intestinal microbiota is considered to constitute a “microbial organ”: one that has pivotal roles in the body’s metabolism as well as immune function. Therefore transplantation aims to restore gut functionality and re-establish a certain state of intestinal flora.

  • Gut microbiota transplantation may prevent development of diabetes and fatty liver disease (medicalxpress.com)
  • Gut microbiota transplantation may prevent development of diabetes and fatty liver disease (eurekalert.org)
  • Gut microbiota regulates bile acid metabolism (eurekalert.org)
  • Gut bacteria may cause diabetes (inspiringscience.wordpress.com)
  • Bugs in Our Guts and How They Affect Obesity (healthmad.com)
  • Obesity, GI Issues May Take Root in Gut Flora (Medical News Today)
  • The body’s bacteria affect intestinal blood vessel formation(eurekalert.org)
    • The Ecosystem Inside (From the Magazine Discover Mar2011, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p35-39, 5p)
      [Not directly available online..Check with your library…I was able to get the full text  through my hometown’s public library Web pages]
      Abstract:

      The article focuses on research into the human microbiome, made up of the up to 200 trillion microbes–including bacteria, fungi, and viruses–that live primarily in the human gut and form their own ecology. Pediatrician Patrick Seed and biologist Rob Jackson are collaborating on the Preemie Microbiome Project at Duke University, aiming to understand the role of microbiome species in infant health.
      [Article excerpts]
      “The classical view of infectious disease is that a single organism invades and produces an infection,” Seed says. “But then we found that certain diseases, like irritable bowel syndrome, seem , to be caused by imbalances in the organisms that communicate with the host. So then people asked, ‘Why is this not the case for many other states of human health?'” Preliminary work by other groups, similarly made up of both biomedical researchers and microbial ecologists, suggests that imbalances in the microbiome might also be linked to allergies, diabetes, and obesity.The partnership between ecologists and biomedical researchers is characteristic of how things work in the relatively new but burgeoning field of microbiome studies. Vanja Klepac-Ceraj, a microbial ecologist by training and an assistant research investigator at the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has helped organize symposia with ecologists and biomedical researchers giving joint.talks on the ecology of disease. “Biomedical scientists understand disease, so they know where the problem lies within the body,” she says. “Ecologists understand complex systems and the interaction of many organisms….
                 …MICROBIOME STUDIES RUN DIRECTLY AGAINST THE NOTION IN THE minds of most people — even many researchers — that microbes are linked to disease, not to health. And of course not all microorganisms are benign. Infants in particular are susceptible to a number of diseases caused by gastrointestinal bacteria, including sepsis, chronic diarrhea, and necrotizing enterocolitis, an infection of the intestinal lining that is one of the leading causes of death in premature babies. Antibiotics have long been the first option in fighting these dangerous microbes, but many researchers are troubled by modern medicine’s heavy reliance on them. After all, many pathogens found within the human microbiome are harmless or even beneficial. “There is Staphylococcus and E. coli in all of us, but they don’t always cause problems,” Jackson says. “It’s the balance that is important. A more normal population of microbes in the gut can offset the bad players”…

      …In another animal microbiome experiment, Jeffrey Gordon, a biologist at Washington University in St Louis, took a suite of microbesfrom the guts of both obese and lean mice and transplanted them into the guts of microbe-free mice. The mice that received the microbiomes of the obese mice gained significantly more weight than did the mice with the lean-mouse microbiomes. The results were the same regardless of whether the obesity of the donor mice was due to genetics or diet. Although caloric intake is still the most important factor in obesity, Gordon’s research suggests that the microbiome may play a significant role by affecting the ability to extract energy from food and to deposit that energy as fat:

      Researchers hope to achieve similarly dramatic results in humans next. A critical step in making this happen is deciphering how microbes communicate. “The establishment of healthy microbial communities almost certainly requires chemical messaging between the species present in the human host,” says Texas A&M University biochemist Paul Straight, who studies interactions among bacteria. Microbes can use chemical signals, including small molecules, proteins, and DNA, to encourage neighboring organisms to grow or to tell them to stop growing. If researchers can capture and understand these molecular exchanges, they might be able to produce a kind of phrase book of chemical reactions. Such information could then be used to initiate this kind of molecular conversation on command, with an eye toward promoting the growth of helpful microbes or stunting harmful ones.

      Specially packaged mixtures of microbes, known as probiotics, may also prove useful for balancing microbes in the gut (See “Bugs for Breakfast,” opposite), Probiotics are now generally sold as health food supplements, and many of them are promoted as magic bullets that can improve metabolism or bolster immunity. Since they are as yet unregulated by the FDA, though, it is impossible for the consumer to know exactly what is inside; labels on over-the-counter products can be deceptive. Scientists who have tested them have often found something quite different from what the product promises. Nevertheless, carefully regulated probiotics, which introduce nonpathogenic competitors to disease, could be effective at balancing the gut microbiome…..

April 21, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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