The role of the gut microbiome in shaping the molecules in our blood

blood samples

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Scientists from the Institute of Systems Biology (ISB) have shown which blood metabolites are related to the gut microbiome, genetics, or the interaction between both. Their findings will be published in the journal nature metabolism It has promising implications for directing targeted therapies designed to alter blood metabolite composition to improve human health.

The nearly 200-year-old phrase “you are what you eat” has some new evidence. ISB researchers found that gut microbiomeincluding what we feed, is largely responsible for the difference in distribution blood metabolites across people. This knowledge will help guide targeted interventions designed to alter the composition of human blood metabolites. The results will be published in nature metabolism On Thursday 10 November.

“We know that person-to-person variation in blood metabolites — the small molecules found in the bloodstream that can interact with all body systems — can tell us a lot about health and disease. Find out what governs this difference,” said Dr. Sean Gibbons, faculty member. Per ISB and co-author of the paper, “It’s a necessary step that brings us closer to rigorous approaches to health care.”

The research team examined 930 blood metabolites that were present in more than 1,500 individuals. More than 60% of the metabolites detected were closely related to either the host genes or the gut microbiome. “It is noteworthy that 69% of these associations were driven by the microbiome only, 15% were driven only by genetics and 16% were controlled by the hybrid genetic microbiome,” said ISB senior researcher Dr. Christian Diener, lead author of the study. Denner and co-lead author Chengzhen Dai analyzed metabolic, genome, and microbiome data identified from consenting patients in a scientific consumer wellness program.

They found that blood metabolite The variance explained by the microbiome was largely independent of the difference explained by the genome, even for hybrid metabolites that were highly correlated with both genes and microbes. In addition, some metabolite-microbe associations were only significant in individuals with specific genetic backgrounds, suggesting a subtle interaction between the microbiome and host genetics in blood metabolite formation.

These new results are promising for several reasons. First, the large number of microbiome-specific metabolites suggests that many of our blood metabolites can be modified through dietary, probiotics and other lifestyle interventions. Second, metabolites under more stringent genetic control may not respond to lifestyle modification, making them targets for pharmacological interventions that directly target host pathways.

A deeper understanding of the determinants of the blood metabolism It will provide us with a window into how these circulating metabolic levels can be engineered and optimized for health, said Dr. Andrew Mages, co-author of the research. Understand which small circulating particles are most often located under the host vs microbiome Control will help guide interventions designed to prevent and/or treat a range of diseases.”

more information:
Andrew Mages, Interaction between genome and microbiome provides insight into determinants of human blood metabolite, nature metabolism (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s42255-022-00670-1.

Presented by the Institute of Systems Biology

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