• Restoring Vaginal Microbiota to C-Section Babies

Restoring Vaginal Microbiota to C-Section Babies

Babies born by Cesarean section (C-section) are not always exposed to bacteria and other microbes present in the birth canals of their mothers—a factor that some studies have associated with health risks later in life. Now, researchers present preliminary data indicating that microbial communities could be at least partly restored

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  • The Iceman’s Gut Microbes Cometh

The Iceman’s Gut Microbes Cometh

Analysis of microbes from the gut of the Iceman—a 5300-year-old Copper Age European glacial mummy—provides insights into not only his health status right before he was murdered, but migration patterns of humans and their microbiota. Helicobacter pylori, one of the most prevalent human pathogens, is globally dispersed but has a

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  • How Might PPIs Promote C difficile infection?

How Might PPIs Promote C difficile infection?

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) do not have a large effect on microbial diversity of the colon, but do affect specific taxa, including Streptococcaceae and Enterococcaceae, which mediate resistance to Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), researchers report in the October issue of Gastroenterology. This finding might provide a mechanism by which these drugs increase risk for CDI.

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  • Is FMT Ready for IBD?

Is FMT Ready for IBD?

Despite promising findings from 2 studies of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in patients with ulcerative colitis, the technology should remain in clinical trials and is not ready for routine practice in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), write Ari M. Grinspan and Colleen R. Kelly in an editorial. The success of FMT

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  • How to Get Rid of H pylori Infection—And do we Need to?

How to Get Rid of H pylori Infection—And do we Need to?

Helicobacter pylori infection increases risk of gastric cancer, by inducing inflammation and genetic instability in the gastric mucosa. However, it is not clear how best to clear the infection, or even whether H pylori can provide some health benefits. In a Review article in the April issue of Gastroenterology, David Y. Graham discusses the mechanisms H pylori–induced carcinogenesis and

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  • Food Emulsifiers Increase Intestinal Permeability to Promote Inflammation

Food Emulsifiers Increase Intestinal Permeability to Promote Inflammation

Food additives commonly used to thicken and stabilize processed foods disrupt the intestinal microbiota to cause inflammation, researchers found in a study of mice. Emulsifiers are added to foods to hold together mixtures of fat and water, which would otherwise separate. Healthy mice fed a diet containing commonly used emulsifiers (1%

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How Good Gut Microbes Resist Inflammation

Gut commensal bacteria survive inflammation by making a simple switch to their protective coats, researchers show. When harmful microbes like salmonella infect the gut, the innate immune system produces antimicrobial peptides to kill them. But these pathogenic microbes are often similar to the commensal microbes that live in the gut—it was

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  • Author Q and A Series: Alcohol, the Microbiota, and Liver Disease

Author Q and A Series: Alcohol, the Microbiota, and Liver Disease

Chronic alcohol consumption disrupts the intestinal microbiota to reduce production of saturated long-chain fatty acids and subsequently the proportion and functions of hepatoprotective lactobacilli, Peng Chen et al report in the January issue of Gastroenterology. Dietary approaches to restore levels of saturated fatty acids in the intestine might therefore reduce ethanol-induced liver injury in patients with

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  • Probiotics for Cirrhosis?

Probiotics for Cirrhosis?

A probiotic solution significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization for hepatic encephalopathy and markers of liver disease severity in patients with cirrhosis, researchers report in the December issue of Gastroenterology. Hepatic encephalopathy develops in 50%–70% of patients with cirrhosis; fewer than 50% of these patients survive for 1 year. Rifaximin and

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  • Liver Metastases, or Syphilis?

Liver Metastases, or Syphilis?

Researchers report initially mistaking late-stage syphilis for liver metastases in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Irphan Gaslightwala et al describe a 59-year-old man with a history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia; 6 months of persistent fevers, chills, and night sweats; and loss of 50 pounds. A positron emission tomography–computed tomography

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