Mice without microbes rely on an entirely different set of genes to digest fat — ScienceDaily

The microbes that help break down food actually tell the gut how to do its job better, according to a new study in mice at Duke.

The researchers said it appears that the microbes are able to influence which of the gut’s genes are being called into action, and in turn, that interaction might lead to a remodeling of the epithelial cells lining the gut so that they match the diet.

“The gut is a fascinating interface between an animal and the world it lives in, and it receives information from both the diet and the microbes it harbors,” said John Rawls, Ph.D., a professor of molecular genomics and microbiology at Duke and director of the Duke Microbiome Center.

The study appeared May 6 in the open access journal Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

To begin to parse the messages coming from the microbes to the cells of the gut, the Duke researchers compared mice raised…

Read more…