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Three Gut Types

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They have now discovered that humans might be divided into three types of gut bacteria: Bacteroides, Prevotella and Ruminococcus, which may lead to personalizing medical treatment based upon which type gut microbes you predominantly have. "The three gut types can explain why the uptake of medicines and nutrients varies from person to person," [1] and may develop into a new ‘biological fingerprint’ on the same level as blood types and tissue types, akin to the 'blood type' diet and treatments. That is why probiotic treatment for rosacea is as valid, if not much better, as antibiotic treatment. 

Bacteroides
Bacteroides is a genus of Gram-negative, obligate anaerobic bacteria. Bacteroides species are non endospore-forming bacilli, and may be either motile or nonmotile, depending on the species. The DNA base composition is 40–48% GC. Unusual in bacterial organisms, Bacteroides membranes contain sphingolipids. They also contain meso-diaminopimelic acid in their peptidoglycan layer. Bacteroides species are normally mutualistic, making up the most substantial portion of the mammalian gastrointestinal microbiota, where they play a fundamental role in processing of complex molecules to simpler ones in the host intestine. As many as 1010–1011 cells per gram of human feces have been reported. They can use simple sugars when available; however, the main sources of energy for Bacteroides species in the gut are complex host-derived and plant glycans.[8] Studies indicate that long-term diet is strongly associated with the gut microbiome composition—those who eat plenty of protein and animal fats have predominantly Bacteroides bacteria, while for those who consume more carbohydrates the Prevotella species dominate.[2]

Prevotella
Prevotella is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria. Prevotella spp. are members of the oral, vaginal, and gut microbiota and are often recovered from anaerobic infections of the respiratory tract. These infections include aspiration pneumonia, lung abscess, pulmonary empyema, and chronic otitis media and sinusitis. They have been isolated from abscesses and burns in the vicinity of the mouth, bites, paronychia, urinary tract infection, brain abscesses, osteomyelitis, and bacteremia associated with upper respiratory tract infections. Prevotella spp. predominate in periodontal disease and periodontal abscesses. Research of human microbiota show that human gut is mainly inhabited by two phyla of bacteria – Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, the latter mostly dominated by Bacteroides and Prevotella genera. Prevotella and Bacteroides are thought to have had a common ancestor. Formally, the two genera were differentiated in 1990. [3]

Ruminococcus
Ruminococcus is a genus of bacteria in the class Clostridia. They are anaerobic, Gram-positive gut microbes. One or more species in this genus are found in significant numbers in the intestines of humans. The type species is R. flavefaciens. As usual, bacteria taxonomy is in flux, with Clostridia being paraphyletic, and some erroneous members of Ruminococcus being reassigned to a new genus Blautia on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. [4]

End Notes

[1] What’s in your gut? Microbiota categories might help simplify personalized medicine
By Katherine Harmon | April 20, 2011
Scientific American

[2] BacteroidesWikipedia

[3] Prevotella, Wikipedia

[4] Ruminococcus, Wikipedia

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