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: Why do the different people's bodies react differently to a high-fat diet?

Related Stories

Why do the different people's bodies react differently to a high-fat diet?

April 26, 2012
Gut flora, otherwise knows as gut microbiota, are the bacteria that live in our digestive tract. There are roughly one thousand different species of bacteria, that are nourished partly by what we eat. Each person has their ...

Researchers find gut bacteria teaches immune cells to see them as friendly

September 22, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Most people know that the gut (human or otherwise) has bacteria in it that helps in the proper digestion of food. But how these bacteria manage to evade destruction by the immune system has been a mystery. ...

Gut bugs might influence child's odds for obesity

May 10, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Levels of certain gut bacteria and low protein intake may raise children's risk of being obese, new research suggests.

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

Childhood poverty, poor support may drive up pregnant woman's biological age

October 16, 2017
Pregnant women who had low socioeconomic status during childhood and who have poor family social support appear to prematurely age on a cellular level, potentially raising the risk for complications, a new study has found.

Chronic inflammation plays critical role in sustained delivery of new muscular dystrophy therapy

October 16, 2017
Macrophages, a type of white blood cell involved in inflammation, readily take up a newly approved medication for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and promote its sustained delivery to regenerating muscle fibers long after ...

Worms reveal secrets of aging: Researchers discover a conserved pathway that controls aging

October 13, 2017
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Health System have identified a new molecular pathway that controls lifespan and healthspan in worms and mammals. In a Nature Communications ...

New study demonstrates importance of studying sleep and eating in tandem

October 13, 2017
A new study from scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) offers important insights into possible links between sleep and hunger—and the benefits of studying the two in tandem. A related ...

'Ridiculously healthy' elderly have the same gut microbiome as healthy 30 year-olds

October 11, 2017
In one of the largest microbiota studies conducted in humans, researchers at Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute and Tianyi Health Science Institute in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China have shown a potential link ...

A specific protein regulates the burning of body fat to generate heat

October 11, 2017
Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC) have identified a protein that holds promise as a target for therapies to reduce obesity. Drs. Guadalupe Sabio and Nuria Matesanz have ...

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.