Written by Kristy Coleman
Look, us mere mortals never really get to find out what is going on in the world of science. Well, not unless it’s (sometimes) sensationalised in the press. So, we wanted to bring you a snapshot of the latest science to whet your appetite to find out more if it’s something that piques your interest. Or, simply to keep you all in the “gut world” loop. Remember most of the studies are VERY new science, so keep your critical thinking cap on!
Our report is brought to you by our student research squad who have their ears to the lab floor ground to keep us all informed.
Due to the advances in technology, scientists are now able to extract microbial DNA from stool samples to find out what’s live in our guts, how microbes work, and what this means for our health. This study looked at how microbes interact together and metabolic functions.
Metabolic functions include everything from how we breakdown food for energy. To how the body builds proteins by stringing together amino acids. It’s incredible to think that the bacteria in our guts play a role in these processes.
You can find the full research on microbial DNA here.
Using the data from 1,004 twins from the TwinsUK cohort. Researchers compared the functions of bacterial teams and metabolic functions through blood and stool samples.
Unrelated people share an average of 82% of metabolic pathways and only 43% of species in their guts. Researchers found that microbes don’t just work in isolation but in teams to interact with our metabolism in blood and faeces.
Twins are a great constant but this study cohort was predominantly female, European, and 96% averaged 65 years old.
This does not make the study generalisable to diverse populations or to males. Larger cohorts of a more diverse mix are needed to confirm the findings of this study.
We still need more research to find out exactly how these microbial teams work together and what processes they influence. However, from this study, we know that instead of just targeting specific microbial species, it may be more important to look at microbial communities and their functions to support health. There is plenty we can do to support our microbial teams, check out our Gut Tips (they may ACTUALLY scientifically make your gut happy by giving it some luvvin’)!