Certain metabolites linked to stem cell function in the intestine: Molecules called ketone bodies may improve stem cells’ ability to regenerate new intestinal tissue

MIT biologists have discovered an unexpected effect of a ketogenic, or fat-rich, diet: They showed that high levels of ketone bodies, molecules produced by the breakdown of fat, help the intestine to maintain a large pool of adult stem cells, which are crucial for keeping the intestinal lining healthy. The…

Anxiety might be alleviated by regulating gut bacteria: Review of studies suggests a potentially useful link between gut bacteria and mental disorders

People who experience anxiety symptoms might be helped by taking steps to regulate the microorganisms in their gut using probiotic and non-probiotic food and supplements, suggests a review of studies published today in the journal General Psychiatry. Anxiety symptoms are common in people with mental diseases and a variety of…

Maternal microbes mediate diet-derived damage

New research in The Journal of Physiology has found, using a mouse model, that microbes in the maternal intestine may contribute to impairment of the gut barrier during pregnancy. Scientists previously thought the changes in maternal metabolism that happen during pregnancy were due entirely to pregnancy hormones. We now believe…

How the microbiota controls neutrophil activity

A host protein called Serum Amyloid A (Saa) is a major factor mediating the effects of the microbiota on the function of immune cells called neutrophils, according to a study published March 7 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by John Rawls of Duke University School of Medicine, and colleagues….

Almost 2,000 unknown bacteria discovered in the human gut: Researchers identify novel gut bacteria species and call for more data from beyond Europe and North America

Researchers at EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute and the Wellcome Sanger Institute have identified almost 2000 bacterial species living in the human gut. These species are yet to be cultured in the lab. The team used a range of computational methods to analyse samples from individuals worldwide. The results, published in…