Some links about Gut Microflora

This is mostly a bookmarking post to put some links out there.

Same poop, different gut - this one deals mostly with fecal transplants to treat bacterial infections

The gut flora as a forgotten organ - mostly dealing with diseases though touts the promise of obesity relationship

The environment within: how gut microbiota may influence metabolism and body composition - An excellent review of the current understanding of the role of gut flora in inflammation, disease, obesity, etc.  The lead author is the researcher who did the fecal transplant study on obese men that demonstrated improvements in insulin sensitivity (see next link).  I recommend reading this one.  IMO, at this point, finding a bacterial solution to obesity seems to be a long-shot and lots of wishful thinking.  

Fecal Transplant Flushes Insulin Resistance  I really look forward to their upcoming publication of this work.  It will be interesting to see the magnitude of the improvements, if it persisted past 6 weeks (e.g. was there a change in the IR as triglycerides returned to "normal"?), and the long term analysis of the microflora pre & post-transplant.  

I wonder how much of this has less to do with the bacteria and more to do with flushing the gut.  We recycle proteins and lipids in our intestines, and perhaps removing cholesterol and other phospholipids tricks the body into thinking it's in a totally different state of nutrition?  If this is so, one would expect things to return basically to "normal" down the line.  


Sanjeev said…
Maybe it's not the bacteria per se but the immune response to some combination of diet gut fungus & bacteria & viruses.

I finally remembered where i had seen this:

Now the scary thing is that eating a high fat meal, probably based on any fat which generates chylomicrons, markedly increases you uptake of endotoxin from your gut, which is obviously full of gram negative bacteria. Eating short chain fatty acids or carbohydrate does not have this effect.
This raises more questions for me than it answers.

Does it imply for example that the immune system has no way of probing what's in the gut when one is one's diet is very low (long chain) fat?

Could these transplants work by temporarily improving SIGNALING (cleaning the chronometers, as it were, so one can tell the time accurately for a while) not necessarily by actually changing the gut ecosystem?

One could hypothesize all day about this: another possibility: assuming the above is right, when the immune system can't tell what's in the gut it reverts to default, suboptimal settings. When it does know what's there, it's operating at peak tuning.
Anonymous said…
Morgan Freeman go poopy !