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Your gut’s trick for controlling the bacteria that live in it

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THE bacteria living in our gut may have powerful effects on us, but we aren’t entirely at their mercy. We now have the first evidence of the mechanism our bodies use to keep these microbial hangers-on in check.

There are a lot of microbes inside us. Although the idea that we contain 10 times as many microbes as cells of our own was recently debunked, it is still likely that we have a roughly equal number of each, prompting the question of how we stop our guests from misbehaving.

Shirong Liu and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School in Boston may have uncovered how. They discovered that cells lining the gut in mice and humans produce short strands of genetic material called microRNAs. These strands can get inside bacteria and switch on certain genes, which encourages the growth of specific types of bacteria.

Mice that produce fewer microRNAs in their gut have a more diverse microbiome, and are more susceptible to colitis – inflammation in the lining of the colon (Cell Host & Microbe, DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.12.005).

The team suggests that gut microRNAs have evolved as a way for us to shape the community of bacteria living inside us, and specifically nurture the ones that help us prevent disease.

“The concept is interesting,” says Tim Spector of King’s College London. “This emphasises our symbiotic relationship with microbes.”

The microbiome is already a target for medical researchers looking for ways to prevent disease, through diet or perhaps drugs. MicroRNAs designed to enhance or suppress specific bacteria could be a powerful tool, Liu says.

Zeph 3:17 Jehovah your God is in the midst of you. As a mighty One, he will save. He will exult over you with rejoicing. He will become silent in his love. He will be joyful over you with happy cries....... Love it....a beautiful word picture.

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3 hours ago, Agent MOM said:

I just read recently that our health is governed by our gut. This is why!

I have a gut feeling that you are right...

CAUTION: The comments above may contain personal opinion, speculation, inaccurate information, sarcasm, wit, satire or humor, let the reader use discernment...:D


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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been reversing the effects of Type 2 diabetes with the help of new research on the diet against leaky gut and the new microbiome research. Neurologist Dr Perlmutter, has been lecturing around the USA and been referred to by doctors here in UK with the latest news on how the gut bacteria produce enzymes and neurotransmitters that alter messages to cells and genes.  Good gut bacteria build up tissue and fight disease, but if we don't eat a balanced diet according to how our bodies work, then certain bacteria; fungii; virus overgrow and make us sick. This science is so new, that the levels of what is good and what is bad is not yet fully understood. Enough to say that it turns the old 'germ theories on their head. Overuse of antibiotics has made us unhealthy in the West. Also, some of what were once seen as enemy bacteria, turn out to need to live in small numbers in us for our health, but eating too much of say sugary things or wheat makes the small numbers proliferate to dangerous levels and disturbs our digestion = dysbiosis. 


I have listened to some interesting online Functional Medicine webinars on the subject of Gut Health beamed out from USA around the World online on the latest findings. 120,000 of us listened to a Gut health webinar last month and learned so much about humans as living with more DNA of stuff within us than there is of us.


Sadly. despite the amazing evidence that we are symbionts = live by relying on other living things and they are relying on us/how we carry a 'gut garden' of ecological diversity around within us that needs tending - which would prove we could not have developed by chance mutations/evolution or it would not work - These scientists still stubbornly cling to evolution. Except Dr Eric Zeilinski, who does acknowledge how wonderfully we were created by God:



Edited by retroHelen
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