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Gut bacteria are protected by host during illness

Stashed in: #health, Science!, Awesome, Oasis, Microbiome, Microbiome

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Fascinating! Host animals seem to be feeding and protecting their gut microbiota during illness, even though it costs them scarce energy resources. This mechanism might be protective against Crohn's Disease.

The microbiome craves special sugars during sickness.

To protect their gut microbes during illness, sick mice produce specialized sugars in the gut that feed their microbiota and maintain a healthy microbial balance. This protective mechanism also appears to help resist or tolerate additional harmful pathogens, and its disruption may play a role in human diseases such as Crohn's disease, report scientists from the University of Chicago in Nature on Oct 1.

I don't think it craves special sugars. I think the implication is that the host takes the time and energy to make special sugars for the microbiome, even though the host is usually taking in far less food and water.

Oh, I see. This is probably why we feel depleted when we get sick. 

Glad it's finally settled that gut bacteria are hosting us, not the other way around... as they are 10 for every one of our own cells.

We should give them special sugar more often...

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