We now know the microbes that live in our intestines — often called our microbiome — influence our health in many ways. The balance among competing microbial species is believed to contribute to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), immune disorders, food allergy, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and more. The sugars in our diets, in turn, influence that ... Read More about Shaping our intestinal microbiome: What makes certain microbes more ‘fit’?
The human microbiome — the collection of microbes living in the gut — is now recognized as an important contributor to health and disease. The environment, the host, and microbe-microbe interactions are all likely to shape the microbiome’s dynamics, but the unique roles of each are not well understood. Now, a Boston Children’s Hospital infectious ... Read More about Piecing together the preterm infant microbiome
Up to a third of U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome, a constellation of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Now considered to be epidemic, metabolic syndrome increases people’s risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, as well as kidney and neurodegenerative disease. Metabolic syndrome is ... Read More about Diet, the microbiome, and how insulin resistance causes metabolic syndrome
When children have respiratory infections, clinicians tend to blame gastroesophageal reflux, based on the assumption that bacteria-laden stomach contents rise into the mouth and are then aspirated. As a result, clinicians often recommend a type of anti-reflux surgery called fundoplication to treat these infections. Yet, despite undergoing this procedure, many patients don’t improve. A new ... Read More about Pioneering microbiome findings shed light on aspiration
Food allergy is a large and growing public health problem. For reasons that remain a mystery, the number of Americans who suffer from the disease has risen sharply over the last decade to as many as 32 million, according to one recent estimate. Nearly 8 percent of children in the U.S. — about two in ... Read More about ‘Good’ bacteria may prevent – and reverse – food allergy
Increasing evidence supports the idea that the bacteria living in our intestines early in life help shape our immune systems. Factors like cesarean birth, early antibiotics, having pets, number of siblings and formula feeding (rather than breastfeeding) may affect our microbial makeup, or microbiota, and may also affect our likelihood of developing allergies. Could giving ... Read More about Could poop transplants treat peanut allergy? A clinical trial begins
The health of our immune system is increasingly linked with the health of our intestinal bacteria. A mouse study from Harvard Medical School now hammers this home for autoimmune disorders, in which the body attacks its own cells. It looked specifically at type 1 diabetes, in which the body destroys the cells that make insulin. ... Read More about Immune gene guards against type 1 diabetes by changing the microbiome. Do early antibiotics undercut its effects?
Could an exciting potential treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) be found in the gastrointestinal tract itself? That’s the theory behind a pair of new studies by Stacy A. Kahn, MD, which will investigate the potential role of fecal microbial transplant (FMT) in the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in children. In IBD, the ... Read More about Could fecal transplants heal Crohn’s and colitis in children? Two trials are set to find out
Seeing the surprising success of “poop pills” in gastrointestinal C. difficile infection, pharma companies and startups are embracing the microbiome as a new therapeutic target for an astonishing range of maladies. To learn what pioneering companies in the space are thinking about the hope and the hype, Vector recently attended a panel on microbiome therapeutics ... Read More about Microbiome therapeutics: 6 takeaways from a MassBio panel
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acids back up into the esophagus, is increasingly diagnosed in children. One study based on insurance-claims data found that GERD diagnoses in infants more than tripled between 2000 and 2005 (from 3.4 to 12.3 percent). In addition to heartburn and chest pain, GERD has been implicated in cough, wheezing ... Read More about Respiratory illness in children with gastroesophageal reflux: Are acid blockers part of the problem?