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Microbes in the gut consume plant sugars as food: Study | News

Sep 23, 2022, 10:54 PM ISTSource: ANI

According to new research, the bacteria in our stomachs are fed by a carbohydrate that is often bound to vegetable proteins. The use of plant-based N-glycans, a form of complex carbohydrates, as nutrition by various types of gut microorganisms is described in a work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers from the University of Newcastle and the University of Birmingham, who are leading the study, used genomic data to locate specific enzymes produced by gut bacteria to digest the intricate carbohydrate structures. The gut microbiome is an incredibly important feature of human health, and this finding will allow us to better understand the microbiome. “An unexpected outcome of the study is that insect N-glycans are also targeted by some of the enzymes discovered. In a future scenario where we are increasingly dependent on alternative protein sources such as insects, this work provides insight into how insect proteins can also provide nutrients for our gut microbes.”

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