PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

A gut microbe could hold a key to help people benefit from healthy foods

Study reveals higher gut levels of Blastocystis in people who have better cardiometabolic health and a healthier diet

2024-07-08
(Press-News.org) KEY TAKEAWAYS

In a study involving 50,000+ individuals from around the world, higher gut levels of Blastocystis, a single-celled organism commonly found in the digestive system, were linked to more favorable indicators of health. People with a healthy diet had higher levels of Blastocystis. The study, which was conducted by an international team led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital, suggests that Blastocystis may play a beneficial role in how diet impacts health. In an analysis of more than 50,000 individuals from around the world, carriers of gut Blastocystis, a single-celled organism that has been labeled either a parasite or harmless organism but is commonly found in the digestive system, was linked to indicators of good cardiovascular health and decreased body fat. The research is published in Cell by an international team led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system.

“Blastocystis’ effects on health and disease are controversial and likely context-dependent, but our research suggests that it may play a beneficial role in how diet impacts human health and disease,” said co-lead author Long H. Nguyen, MD, MS, a physician investigator in the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit and Division of Gastroenterology at MGH, and an assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “At the very least, its ubiquity may suggest a non-pathogenic role.”

Nguyen, who is also a Chen Institute Department of Medicine Transformative Scholar at MGH, and colleagues sought to establish the relationship between gut Blastocystis, nutrition, and subsequent cardiometabolic health outcomes, including overweight/obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. To do so, they performed a large-scale study integrating and harmonizing data on nearly 57,000 individuals from 32 countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, focusing on Blastocystis and investigating whether its presence alters the effects of different dietary foods on individuals’ cardiometabolic health.

“We found that Blastocysis' presence and abundance varied by region and were influenced by diet,” said Nguyen.

Blastocystis was associated with the intake of certain food items and overall dietary patterns favoring more healthful plant-based and minimally processed foods. Additionally, Blastocystis was hardly ever found in newborns, suggesting that it is likely acquired later in life and was even found in stool from 595 AD, suggesting it is not strictly a marker of a more modern microbiome configuration.

Notably, higher Blastocystis levels were linked to better short-term markers of cardiometabolic health. For example, the team observed more favorable blood sugar and lipid profiles in individuals with higher Blastocystis levels, suggesting a potential positive impact on cardiometabolic health beyond the effect of a healthy diet alone. Also, lower levels of Blastocystis were linked with long-term outcomes such as obesity.

Also, in adults who participated in a six-month personalized diet intervention study, improvements in diet quality were linked with subsequent increases in Blastocystis prevalence and abundance.

“Overall, our findings suggest a potentially beneficial modulating role for Blastocystis, which may help explain individualized responses to diet and differences in digestive health depending on the presence and level of Blastocystis,” said Nguyen. “Also, our results indicate that Blastocystis may not be a parasite with detrimental host effects but, rather, a favorable constituent of the human gut microbiome.”

Additional studies are needed to determine whether increasing Blastocystis levels represents a viable disease-prevention strategy, just as a growing number of studies are investigating the effects of modulating gut bacteria to fend off a range of medical conditions.

Authorship: Elisa Piperni*, Long H. Nguyen*, Paolo Manghi, Hanseul Kim, Edoardo Pasolli, Sergio Andreu-Sánchez, Alberto Arrè, Kate M. Bermingham, Aitor Blanco-Míguez, Serena Manara, Mireia Valles-Colomer, Elco Bakker, Fabio Busonero, Richard Davies, Edoardo Fiorillo, Francesca Giordano, George Hadjigeorgiou, Emily R. Leeming, Marco Masala, Andrea Maschio, Lauren J. McIver, Mauro Pala, Maria Grazia Piras, Maristella Pitzalis, Jonathan Wolf, Jingyuan Fu, Alexandra Zhernakova, Simone M. Cacciò, Francesco Cucca, Sarah E. Berry, Danilo Ercolini, Andrew T. Chan, Curtis Huttenhower, Tim D. Spector^, Nicola Segata^, and Francesco Asnicar^ (*co-lead, ^co-supervisor).

Disclosures: Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this article at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2024.06.018.

Funding: This work was supported by Zoe Ltd. and TwinsUK which is funded by the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Versus Arthritis, European Union Horizon 2020, Chronic Disease Research Foundation (CDRF), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) and Biomedical Research Centre based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with King’s College London. Additional funding information available in the publication.

Paper cited: Piperni E & Nguyen LH et al. “Intestinal Blastocystis is linked to healthy diets and favorable cardiometabolic outcomes in 56,989 individuals from 32 countries.” Cell DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2024.06.018

END


ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Luther identifying road segments that bisect predicted movement corridors for small priority species in Virginia

2024-07-08
David Luther, Associate Professor, Biology, received funding for the project: “Identifying Road Segments that Bisect Predicted Movement Corridors for Small Priority Species in Virginia.”  The purpose of this study is to advance the work of the legislated Wildlife Corridor Action Plan (WCAP) and meet the intent of an awarded Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant by identifying road segments that may pose a high risk or impede movement of select small terrestrial and semiaquatic animal species that are ...

Employees prefer human performance monitors over AI, study finds

2024-07-08
ITHACA, N.Y. - Organizations using AI to monitor employees’ behavior and productivity can expect them to complain more, be less productive and want to quit more – unless the technology can be framed as supporting their development, Cornell University research finds. Surveillance tools cause people to feel a greater loss of autonomy than oversight by humans, according to the research. Businesses and other organizations using the fast-changing technologies to evaluate employee behaviors should consider their unintended consequences, which may prompt resistance and hurt performance, the researchers say. They also suggest an opportunity to win buy-in, ...

Novel liquid biopsy methodology enables the monitoring of disease evolution in patients with metastatic prostate cancer

Novel liquid biopsy methodology enables the monitoring of disease evolution in patients with  metastatic prostate cancer
2024-07-08
Novel liquid biopsy methodology enables the monitoring of disease evolution in patients with  metastatic prostate cancer   Extracellular vesicles shed by prostate cancer cells to the bloodstream contain tumor-derived material that can be used as biomarkers of therapy response and resistance in patients with metastatic disease.   Published today in the journal Cancer Cell, results of a VHIO-led study show that a newly developed liquid biopsy-based approach can monitor tumor gene expression through RNA contained ...

Schrag studying history Of Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

2024-07-08
Zachary Schrag, Professor, History and Art History, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), received funding for the project: “Rail Against Sprawl: A History of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.”  Schrag said, “I am writing the history of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, among the nation’s most ambitious efforts to reshape daily transportation choices. After decades of planning and construction, the project was completed in 2022, extending the Washington ...

Study identifies racial and gender disparities in youth psychiatric emergency department boarding

2024-07-08
A new study led by researchers at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in collaboration with researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Cambridge Health Alliance, has uncovered concerning disparities in boarding rates of children and adolescents with severe mental health symptoms in emergency departments. When reviewing more than 4,900 boarding episodes of youth under 17 years old in Massachusetts over an 18-month period, the researchers found there were numerous racial and gender disparities: Black youth were less likely to be admitted to inpatient psychiatric care than White youth.  Additionally, transgender and nonbinary youth experienced ...

Raw milk is risky, but airborne transmission of H5N1 from cow's milk is inefficient in mammals

Raw milk is risky, but airborne transmission of H5N1 from cows milk is inefficient in mammals
2024-07-08
While H5N1 avian influenza virus taken from infected cow’s milk makes mice and ferrets sick when dripped into their noses, airborne transmission of the virus between ferrets — a common model for human transmission — appears to be limited. These and other new findings about the strain of H5N1 circulating among North American dairy cattle this year come from a set of laboratory experiments led by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers, reported today in the journal Nature. Together, they suggest that exposure to raw milk infected with the currently circulating virus poses a real risk of infecting humans, but that the virus may not ...

Features of H5N1 influenza viruses in dairy cows may facilitate infection, transmission in mammals

Features of H5N1 influenza viruses in dairy cows may facilitate infection, transmission in mammals
2024-07-08
WHAT: A series of experiments with highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) viruses circulating in infected U.S. dairy cattle found that viruses derived from lactating dairy cattle induced severe disease in mice and ferrets when administered via intranasal inoculation. The virus from the H5N1-infected cows bound to both avian (bird) and human-type cellular receptors, but, importantly, did not transmit efficiently among ferrets exposed via respiratory droplets. The findings, published in Nature, suggest that bovine (cow) ...

Scientists discover how to improve vaccine responses to potentially deadly bacterium

2024-07-08
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have taken a leap forward in understanding how we might fight back against the potentially deadly MRSA bacterium. They have shown in an animal model that targeting a key suppressive immune molecule (IL-10) during the delivery of a vaccine improves the ability of the vaccine to protect against infection. The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is one of the leading causes of community- and hospital-acquired bacterial infection, and is associated with over one million deaths worldwide each year. Unfortunately, antibiotics are becoming increasingly less effective against this bacterium with the antibiotic-resistant ...

Sauer receives funding for project studying tunable RF atomic magnetometer as an electrically small receiver

2024-07-08
Sauer Receives Funding For Project Studying Tunable RF Atomic Magnetometer As An Electrically Small Receiver Karen Sauer, Professor, Physics and Astronomy, College of Science, received funding for the project: “Tunable RF Atomic Magnetometer as an Electrically Small Receiver.” Sauer will complete work for this project in three phases. In Phase 1, she will focus on developing and investigating novel bias-field control based on fully atom-based measurements as well as testing the performance ...

Study highlights the importance of infection prevention after CAR-T cell therapy

2024-07-08
RESEARCH SUMMARY Study highlights the importance of infection prevention after CAR-T cell therapy Study Title: A systematic review and meta-analysis of nonrelapse mortality after CAR T cell therapy  Publication: Nature Medicine Dana-Farber Cancer Institute authors: David M. Cordas dos Santos, MD, Irene M. Ghobrial, MD, Jean-Baptiste Alberge, PhD Summary: Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in collaboration with colleagues from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York (Dr. Kai Rejeski) and the LMU Hospital in Munich, Germany (Dr. Tobias Tix), have found ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Cook like a Neanderthal: Scientists try to replicate ancient butchering methods to learn how Neanderthals ate birds

New study finds alarming rise in persistent ‘forever chemicals’ in pesticides

At what age do Olympic athletes peak?

Link found between kneecap shape and debilitating joint disease

Generative AI tools like Pix2Pix–BicycleGAN are revolutionizing landscape design by enhancing masterplan generation and rendering

Expanding APAC presence, Insilico Medicine seals strategic collaboration on AI-driven mash therapy development with Korean Biotech Therasid Bioscience

When it comes to butterflies, people prefer pretty ones. That’s a problem for scientists.

UBC Okanagan study raises concerns about partner violence in queer relationships

Human-infecting parasite produces sterile soldiers like ants and termites

The unintended consequences of success against malaria

Taco-shaped arthropod from Royal Ontario Museum’s Burgess Shale fossils gives new insights into the history of the first mandibulates

Butterflies accumulate enough static electricity to attract pollen without contact, new research finds

Eyes for Love: Searching for light and a mate in the deep, dark sea, male dragonfishes grow larger eyes than the females they seek

PNNL scientists tap nation’s fastest computers to explore critical science questions

Peri-operative care of transgender and gender-diverse individuals: new guidance for clinicians and departments published

Clinical psychologist’s book addresses largely ignored problem: social anxiety

Researchers leveraging AI to train (robotic) dogs to respond to their masters

Drawing water from dry air

Combining trapped atoms and photonics for new quantum devices

A new way to make element 116 opens the door to heavier atoms

New genetic tool could identify drug targets for diseases associated with metabolic dysfunction

Plant Biologist Siobhan Brady named HHMI Investigator

Long-acting injectable cabotegravir for HIV prevention is safe in pregnancy

Large language models don’t behave like people, even though we may expect them to

NREL researchers highlight opportunities for manufacturing perovskite solar panels with a long-term vision

Top Medicare advantage plans less available in disadvantaged areas

Better carbon storage better carbon storage with stacked geology with stacked geology

Sharp temperature reduction for quantum dots in polymer by highly efficient heat dissipation pathways

UAF researcher creates way to detect elusive volcanic vibrations

Lissajous pattern multi-pass cell: Enhancing high sensitivity and simultaneous dual-gas LITES sensing

[Press-News.org] A gut microbe could hold a key to help people benefit from healthy foods
Study reveals higher gut levels of Blastocystis in people who have better cardiometabolic health and a healthier diet