Recently recognized supplement helps the gut review earlier diseases and execute attacking bacteria
- Post By : Kumar Jeetendra
- Source: NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- Date: 17 Jan,2021
Scientists studying the body’s natural defenses against bacterial disease have identified a nutritional supplement –taurine–that helps the gut recall prior infections and kill invading bacteria, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kpn). The finding, published in the journal Cell by scientists from five institutes of the National Institutes of Health, could help efforts seeking alternatives to antibiotics.
Scientists understand that microbiota–the trillions of beneficial microbes living harmoniously inside our gut–may protect people from bacterial infections, but little is known about how they provide protection. Scientists are studying the microbiota with an eye to finding or improving natural treatments to replace antibiotics, which injury microbiota and become less effective as bacteria develop drug resistance.
The scientists observed that microbiota that had experienced prior infection and transferred to germ-free mice helped prevent disease with Kpn. They identified a category of bacteria–Deltaproteobacteria–involved in fighting these infections, and further analysis led them to detect taurine as the cause for Deltaproteobacteria activity.
The scientists believe that low levels of taurine allow pathogens to colonize the gut, but high levels produce enough hydrogen sulfide to prevent colonization. During the study, the researchers realized that a single moderate infection is enough to prepare the microbiota to withstand following disease, which the liver and gallbladder–that synthesize and store bile acids containing taurine–may develop long-term disease protection.
The research found that taurine given to mice as a nutritional supplement in drinking water also ready the microbiota to avoid infection. But when mice drank water containing bismuth subsalicylate–a common over-the-counter drug used to treat diarrhea and upset stomach–infection protection waned because bismuth inhibits hydrogen sulfide production.
Stacy, A., et al. (2021) Infection trains the host for microbiota-enhanced resistance to pathogens. Cell. doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.12.011.