Gutbliss Weekly Review – March 11, 2016

  1. Could bacteria drastically reduce the amount of commercial fertilizer we use? Yes! Scientists isolate bacteria that encourage plant growth, increase root size and nutrient absorption, and produce antimicrobial agents that fight plant pathogens. But what effect might these bacteria have on the human microbiome? lfpress


  1. Scientists create a molecule that disarms ulcer-causing bacteria. By transforming the helix-shaped bacteria into a rod, the molecule prevents the bacteria from burying itself in the stomach lining and forming an ulcer. University of British Columbia


  1. Studies show that bacteria (Enterobacteriacaea) are present in kidney stones and may contribute to their formation. This may also explain why people with kidney stones are more prone to urinary tract infections. Nationwide Children’s


  1. Early introduction could be the answer to drastically decreasing food allergies. Introducing peanut-containing snacks at 11 months of age reduces peanut allergy risk by 80%, with lasting effects. Lead author, Professor Gideon Lack says, “I believe that this fear of food allergy has become a self-fulfilling prophecy… the food is excluded from the diet and, as a result, the child fails to develop tolerance.” BBC


  1. Evidence shows that a vegan diet leads to a “health-promoting” microbiome. When comparing the fecal microbiome of 10 vegans and 10 omnivores, vegan subjects contained more benign Verrucomicrobia and less pathogenic Proteobacteria and lactic acid bacteria compared to omnivores. Journal of International Society of Microbiota


  1. The presence of bacterial DNA in the blood of Crohn’s patients has ominous associations – it’s an independent risk factor for relapse and is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization and steroid use. The American Journal of Gastroenterology


  1. An altered vaginal microbiome may negatively affect fertility. More studies are needed to draw a direct association, but scientists are hopeful that microbiome-targeted treatment could be a viable therapy before introducing in vitro fertilization (or IVF). Human Reproduction


  1. More on breast cancer and fiber A high fiber diet reduces breast cancer risk by 16% overall, and 24% in premenopausal women. Eat. More. Fiber. Harvard


  1. Beta-glucan found in oats and barley alters the microbiome in a way that lowers cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors (such as high cholesterol). While Beta-glucan has been associated with lowering CVD risk factors, how these physiological effects are modulated is unknown – the microbiome may be part of the answer. Frontiers in Microbiology


  1. Characteristic alterations in the microbiome exist in patients with coronary artery disease, including an increase in the Lactobacillales order and a decrease in the Bacteroidetes phylum. More studies are needed to conclude a causal relationship and researchers admit that medication use could explain some of the microbial changes observed. Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis


By: Leslie Ann Berg, MSPH