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Researchers looking into the success of faecal transplants believe they have identified why the poo of certain donors produces better results than others – so called “super-donors”. A team at the University of Auckland examined results from previous studies on faecal transplants – when faeces, and the microbes it contains, are taken from a healthy gut and used to “re-set” the gut of the recipient – to understand why poo from certain donors resulted in a better success rate in treating certain conditions. Read more
Kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso and kefir – all fermented foods and drinks – have been around for centuries, but suddenly they are all the rage. The reason? They are supposedly packed full of gut-healthy microorganisms, and we are finally waking up to just how much the trillions of microorganisms that live in our guts (AKA the gut microbiome) contribute to our mental and physical health. Read more
Tests showed that the microbes reduced dangerous levels of ammonia and boosted survival rates in susceptible mice, while a small trial in healthy people found the bacteria worked as expected and were safe to take. Read more
Scientists are learning that children’s microbiomes are particularly sensitive to external influences, and crucial to their long-term risk of disease. Many believe that aspects of modern lifestyle – including the rise in Caesareans, reliance on antibiotics, over-cleanliness and processed foods – are distorting the microbes in children’s guts, thus driving health problems.Read more
Parents who treat their children as if they are fragile (for example, by keeping them away from dirt and potential allergens, such as peanuts) are depriving their children’s immature immune systems of the learning experiences those systems need to develop their maximum protective capacity. Read more
The work of turning food into fuel is done by 40 trillion “good guy” gut bacteria. They determine when we feel hungry and how we store fat, communicate with our brain to regulate our moods and help ward off disease. So this year, instead of depriving your body, why not try loading up on foods that feed your digestive system’s beneficial bacteria—and help them help you?Read more
Scientists have identified a few species among the many trillions of microbes that live in your intestines that play a crucial role in gut health and maintaining a balanced immune system. Your dietary intake is vital to allowing these species to flourish and to preventing imbalances that can lead to disease.Read more
Most people know that the risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
But these factors are not very good at predicting heart disease in younger people, in women and in some ethnic groups. A poor gut microbiome could be the missing risk factor we’ve been looking for.Read more
Doctors have long scratched their heads over the causes and cures for two common diseases of the digestive system: IBS and IBD. But research out today in Science Translational Medicine takes a leap forward in explaining these conditions, thanks to a major undertaking to sequence the gut microbiomes of almost 2,000 people.Read more
Your body is home to far more than just human cells—and the trillions of bacteria that inhabit your gut might also be taking a considerable hit from your chronic sweet tooth. According to a new study, sugar can directly deter beneficial microbes from gaining a foothold in the gut.Read more
Moving to a new country can be challenging, not just for us but also for our bacteria. A compelling new study published in Cell suggests migration between certain countries can profoundly affect the bacteria that live in our digestive systems, with important implications for our health.Read more
Billions of tonnes of tiny creatures are thriving far beneath the planet’s surface, according to a major study of “deep life” living in a habitat nearly twice the size of the oceans.
Despite extreme temperatures, pressures and a lack of nutrients, scientists found this hidden world is home to 70 per cent of Earth’s bacteria and their cousins the archaea.Read more
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