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DNA of Good Bacteria Drives Intestinal Response to Infection

A new study shows that the DNA of so-called "good bacteria" that normally live in the intestines may help defend the body against infection. The findings, available October 2 online in the journal Immunity, are reported by Yasmine Belkaid, Ph.D., and her colleagues in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

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[National Institutes of Health (NIH) News Releases]



Very Low Carbohydrate Diet Reduces Good Bacteria in Colon

Scientists have shown that a very low carbohydrate weight-loss diet results in a four-fold reduction in the numbers of certain types of bacteria in the gut of obese men. This is a significant finding because these gut bacteria produce a substance called butyrate, which has been shown to be important for keeping the gut healthy including helping to prevent colorectal cancer.

"If low carbohydrate diets are to be consumed for long periods of time, it may be important to ensure that there is enough of the right sort of carbohydrate in the diet which can be used by the bacteria to produce compounds such as butyrate, which are beneficial for human health. This means making sure you continue to eat plenty of sources of fiber - such as fruit and vegetables," said Professor Harry Flint.
 

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