Could 'friendly' gut bacteria help fight heart disease?

July 17, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists at the University of Reading are looking at ways of tackling heart disease and diabetes - through our guts.

Experts in gut at the Department of Food and Nutritional Science at Reading believe that altering the mix of bacteria in our guts could have a significant effect on cutting risks of the - a condition that frequently includes obesity and puts people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and .

They are currently working on human trials to explore how prebiotics - that stimulate the growth of ‘good' bacteria in the gut - can prevent at-risk patients from gaining weight and increasing their risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes.

Evidence has already indicated that gut microbes can play an important role in weight gain, with some types of bacteria helping to prevent molecules thought to play a role in weight gain from entering the blood stream.

One such molecule is the microbial cell component lipopolysaccahride, which has been observed to be elevated in cases of .

Dr Gemma Walton, one of the researchers working on the project, said: "To find alternative ways to reduce risk factors for these conditions involving the gut would be great.

"Evidence shows that gut microbes may play an important role in the metabolic syndrome, so through altering the gut bacteria we could potentially reduce people's risks of developing associated diseases - heart attacks, strokes and diabetes - currently the most lethal conditions in Europe.

"When we consider that each one of us has more bacteria cells than human cells, gut implicated answers show real potential."

Explore further: Transplanting human gut bugs into mice helps understanding of metabolic system

Related Stories

Cancer-causing gut bacteria exposed

September 22, 2008

Normal gut bacteria are thought to be involved in colon cancer but the exact mechanisms have remained unknown. Now, scientists from the USA have discovered that a molecule produced by a common gut bacterium activates signalling ...

Toxins could make you fat - depending on gut bugs

November 3, 2011

Could persistent pollutants like DDT and PCBs or chemicals found in plastics be making you fat or diabetic? The answer may depend on what sort of bacteria you have churning around in your gut, according to Cornell scientists.

Recommended for you

Basic research fuels advanced discovery

August 26, 2016

Clinical trials and translational medicine have certainly given people hope and rapid pathways to cures for some of mankind's most troublesome diseases, but now is not the time to overlook the power of basic research, says ...

New method creates endless supply of kidney precursor cells

August 25, 2016

Salk Institute scientists have discovered the holy grail of endless youthfulness—at least when it comes to one type of human kidney precursor cell. Previous attempts to maintain cultures of the so-called nephron progenitor ...

New avenue for understanding cause of common diseases

August 25, 2016

A ground-breaking Auckland study could lead to discoveries about many common diseases such as diabetes, cancer and dementia. The new finding could also illuminate the broader role of the enigmatic mitochondria in human development.

Strict diet combats rare progeria aging disorders

August 25, 2016

Mice with a severe aging disease live three times longer if they eat thirty percent less. Moreover, they age much healthier than mice that eat as much as they want. These are findings of a joint study being published today ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.