Gut bacteria make natural antibiotics

Gut bacteria make natural antibiotics

A healthy microbiome has bacteria that make chemicals which can fight infection as antibiotics and these are capable of protecting different human populations around the globe, according to researchers from Princeton University.

It’s all becoming very Hi-Tech. The problem is that despite our rapidly increasing knowledge of the microbiome, we still have no idea of all the chemicals it makes that impinge on out health. (It’s called ‘The Dark Microbiome’!)

So Dr. Mohamed Donia, an expert in microbial communities, of Princeton University used computers, algorithms and other wizardry to search for gene sequences in the bacteria that inhabit our gut, mouth, skin and other warm, and wet places in our body, and that are known to produce anti-cancer chemicals.

For example, they started looking for genes that made a rare enzyme T11-PKS that is critical to making antibiotics and doxorubicin. And they found that it was quite prominent in our microbiomes; in 13 clusters of bacterial genes in fact.

They also found it across different geographical areas – in populations in South East Asia, Europe and America and concluded that the genes were present regardless of dietary habits.

They then introduced the genes into laboratory bacteria. Sadly, they found no anti-cancer activity from these genes, but they did find antibiotic activity. This could be just one way anti-cancer drugs make patients taking them weaker against infection.

Go to: Heal your Gut – Heal your Body

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2019 Research
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