Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New discoveries linking gut bacteria with cholesterol metabolism give hope for the future

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, show that cholesterol metabolism is regulated by bacteria in the small intestine. These findings may be important for the development of new drugs for cardiovascular disease.

It is well established that cholesterol is the major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol – which is mainly synthesized in the body but also obtained from dietary sources – is converted to bile acids in the liver, which are then secreted into the intestine and either removed from the body or recycled back to the liver.

The influence of gut bacteria on human health and disease is a rapidly expanding research area. Fredrick Bäckhed’s research group is a leader in this field and is investigating how gut bacteria are linked to lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In a study published in the prestigious journal Cell Metabolism, they show that gut bacteria reduce bile acid synthesis in the liver by signaling through a specific protein, known as the FXR receptor, in the small intestine.

‘Drugs that reduce cholesterol levels have, in recent years, greatly reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease. Our study is a step forward because we have shown how gut bacteria regulate the formation of bile acids from cholesterol’, says Sama Sayin, medical doctor and PhD student at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and the study's first author.

The FXR receptor not only affects cholesterol metabolism but is also involved in the body's sugar and fat metabolism.

‘If future research can identify the specific bacteria that affect FXR signaling in the gut, this could lead to new ways to treat diabetes and cardiovascular disease’, says Fredrik Bäckhed, professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, who led the study.

The article ‘Gut microbiota regulates bile acid metabolism by reducing the levels of tauro-betamuricholic acid, a naturally occurring FXR antagonist’ is published in Cell Metabolism on February 5. The study is a collaboration with researchers from VTT in Finland, the Karolinska Institute and AstraZeneca in Mölndal.

The Wallenberg Laboratory:

Fredrick Bäckhed, professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and director of the Wallenberg Laboratory, University of Gothenburg
+ 46 (0) 31-342 7833
+ 46 (0) 70-2182355
Sama Sayin, PhD student at the Wallenberg Laboratory and Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Gothenburg
+ 46 (0) 31-342 8672
+ 46 (0) 73-1541051

Annika Koldenius | idw
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laboratory study: Scientists from Cologne explore a new approach to prevent newborn epilepsies
24.11.2015 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)

nachricht U of T research sheds new light on mysterious fungus that has major health consequences
23.11.2015 | University of Toronto

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

Im Focus: Climate Change: Warm water is mixing up life in the Arctic

AWI researchers’ unique 15-year observation series reveals how sensitive marine ecosystems in polar regions are to change

The warming of arctic waters in the wake of climate change is likely to produce radical changes in the marine habitats of the High North. This is indicated by...

Im Focus: Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy

Berkeley Lab researchers develop nanoparticles that can carry therapeutics across the brain blood barrier

Glioblastoma multiforme, a cancer of the brain also known as "octopus tumors" because of the manner in which the cancer cells extend their tendrils into...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Siemens Healthcare introduces the Cios family of mobile C-arms

20.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Plant Defense as a Biotech Tool

25.11.2015 | Life Sciences

“move“ – on course for the mobility of the future

25.11.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Understanding a missing link in how antidepressants work

25.11.2015 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>