Not One Size Fits All

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Probiotics

Hot off the lab bench!! A cutting edge study published in the journal Cell shows how truly unique your gut microbiome is!

A group of scientists from Israel very recently found that there was a high variability in whether or not a person’s body would resist or allow bacteria to become part of their gut microbiome. A probiotic that you would probably find in your chemist was given to healthy humans to see if the 11 strains of bacteria it contained were happy to make home of the gut mucosa of the hosts. Whether or not the bacteria were allowed to stay and make home, seems to depend on the indigenous populations of bacteria already living there. If allowed at all, where the introduced probiotic bacteria were allowed to stay differed depending within and between the people. Each person’s gut seems to have particular types of bacterial allowances in the different regions. The small intestine (just under the stomach) is very different to the middle region, and the large bowel (lower region of your tract). It is almost like in the real estate of the gut, some regions, just like suburbs, are different to others. Some bacteria are deemed to not be suitable (not to be able to afford that suburb), but if there is a bit of a gap in some suburbs they may become welcomed to locate and they then quickly colonise! The scientists showed how stool samples really do not give a good indication of whether or not the bacteria have been rejected or have been accepted by the gut regions. Both situations allow for bacteria to end up in the stool from either being washed out with their rejection or due to their excess from thriving. To make a long story short, if you are wanting to colonise your gut with probiotics, just know that you are unique. There is no one size fits all probiotic approach for a ‘quick fix’. It is always good to seek medical advice if you have any concerning medical conditions. Stay tuned, for our next blog of a cautionary tale.

By Fiona Clarke & Morgan Newman

See full open access paper here: https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(18)31102-4