Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Changes in the gut bacteria protect against stroke

14.12.2012
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, demonstrate that an altered gut microbiota in humans is associated with symptomatic atherosclerosis and stroke. These findings are presented in a study published in Nature Communications on December 4.

The human body contains ten times more bacterial cells than human cells, most of which are found in the gut. These bacteria contain an enormous number of genes in addition to our host genome, and are collectively known as the gut metagenome.

Rapidly expanding field

How does the metagenome affect our health? This question is currently being addressed by researchers in the rapidly expanding field of metagenomic research. Several diseases have been linked to variations in the metagenome.

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, now also show that changes in the gut metagenome can be linked to atherosclerosis and stroke.

Differences in gut microbiota

The researchers compared a group of stroke patients with a group of healthy subjects and found major differences in their gut microbiota. In particular, they showed that genes required for the production of carotenoids were more frequently found in gut microbiota from healthy subjects. The healthy subjects also had significantly higher levels of a certain carotenoid in the blood than the stroke survivors.

Affects disease states

Carotenoids are a type of antioxidant, and it has been claimed for many years that they protect against angina and stroke. Thus, the increased incidence of carotenoid-producing bacteria in the gut of healthy subjects may offer clues to explain how the gut metagenome affects disease states.

Carotenoids are marketed today as a dietary supplement. The market for them is huge, but clinical studies of their efficacy in protecting against angina and stroke have produced varying results.

Important health benefits

Jens Nielsen, Professor of Systems Biology at Chalmers, says that it may be preferable to take probiotics instead – for example dietary supplements containing types of bacteria that produce carotenoids.

“Our results indicate that long-term exposure to carotenoids, through production by the bacteria in the digestive system, has important health benefits. These results should make it possible to develop new probiotics. We think that the bacterial species in the probiotics would establish themselves as a permanent culture in the gut and have a long-term effect”.

Develop risk prognoses

“By examining the patient’s bacterial microbiota, we should also be able to develop risk prognoses for cardiovascular disease”, says Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Gothenburg,. ”It should be possible to provide completely new disease-prevention options”.

Close cooperation

The researchers have now started a company, Metabogen, to further develop their discoveries relating to the metagenome. Their success is based on close cooperation between engineers, microbiologists and doctors.

Jens Nielsen and Fredrik Bäckhed both agree that one of the challenges in the rapidly developing area of metagenomics is its multidisciplinary facets, requiring novel collaborations and merging of research fields.

The paper “Symptomatic atherosclerosis is associated with an altered gut metagenome” was published on December 4.

Contact:
Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, +46 31 342 78 33, fredrik.backhed@wlab.gu.se

Jens Nielsen, Professor of Systems Biology at Chalmers University of Technology, +46 70 243 66 18, nielsenj@chalmers.se

Fredrik Karlsson, research student in Systems Biology at Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 38 86, fredrik.karlsson@chalmers.se

The research was funded by:
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Chalmers Foundation, Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Torsten Söderberg’s Foundation, IngaBritt och Arne Lundbergs Foundation, AFA Insurances, the Swedish Research Council, and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research.

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n12/full/ncomms2266.html
http://www.chalmers.se

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>