Gut Bacteria Classified People Into Three Types – EMBL Study

By on Apr 21, 2011 in Europe, Health, Science, World Comments

According to several international news sites, a recent study published online in Nature on April 20 said that humans can now be classified into three types based on their gut bacteria.

Gut Bacteria
Artistic impression of the three human gut types.
Credit: EMBL/P. Riedinger

Reports said that the actual composition of our inner microbes can now be grouped into three different gut types, known as enterotypes.

A team of scientists led by Peer Bork at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany observed the data from four countries. They found out that the three enterotypes are not associated with any continent or nation.

“We found that the combination of microbes in the human intestine isn’t random. Our gut flora can settle into three different types of community—three different ecosystems, if you like,” Bork reportedly said in an EMBL press release.

The team found that there was a correlation between the bacterial genomes and the host factors, namely body mass index and age, which indicates that microbial markers may have diagnostic potential.

“The fact that there are bacterial genes associated with traits like age and weight indicates that there may also be markers for traits like obesity or diseases like colo-rectal cancer which could have implications for diagnosis and prognosis,” Bork was quoted saying.

According to reports, this means that the different enterotypes might respond differently to drug intake and diet.

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