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People fall into 3 categories of gut microbiota
Date:4/21/2011

e of certain bacterial genes could serve as diagnostic and/or predictive markers for obesity. This finding is currently undergoing further testing in a clinical study in a group of over 100 individuals. This involves examining the DNA of the complete gut microbiome of those.

Differences in vitamin production

It is notable that the vitamin production between the different groups varies strongly. People that belong to the Bacteroides group have more gut bacteria that produce vitamins C, B2, B5 and H. The Prevotella group showed higher numbers of B1 and folic acid-producing flora.

Crucial role of gut microbiota

An estimated 100,000 billion individual bacteria live in our intestines. They form our gut microbiota. These bacteria play a crucial role in protecting our health. They help to covert food into energy and protect us against attacks by pathogens. In exchange for these benefits, our bodies provide the bacteria with habitat and nutrition.

Metagenomics as a study method

In the past, the study of gut microflora was very difficult. The problem was that most gut bacteria cannot be cultivated in a lab and only survive in the intestines. A different approach is now used. Instead of cultivating the bacteria, the genetic information (DNA) of all the bacteria is studied together (metagenomics). This generates a vast amount of data that is analyzed using powerful computers.


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Contact: Jeroen Raes
jeroen.raes@vib-vub.be
32-477-697-668
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

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