Washington: Bad gut bacteria - or an insufficient amount of good bacteria - may increase the risk of multiple sclerosis, researchers including one of Indian origin have warned.
"Every human carries trillions of bacteria in their gut and recent advances in research indicate that these tiny passengers play an important role in our overall health maintenance," said Ashutosh Mangalam, assistant professor of pathology at the University of Iowa (IU) Carver College of Medicine in the US. Since the bacteria are associated with contributing to good health, Mangalam and his colleagues wondered whether those with a chronic autoimmune disorder, such as multiple sclerosis, would then have a gut microbiome that is different than the microbiome found in healthy individuals.
Mangalam and his team found that MS patients do, in fact, have a distinct microbiome from their healthy peers. "Although preliminary, our data suggest that patients with MS have reduced levels of good bacteria responsible for overall benefits obtained from consuming healthy foods, such as soybean and flaxseeds," said Mangalam, who is senior author on the study. Mangalam and his team from Mayo Clinic - where all of the work was completed before Mangalam joined the UI last year - conducted microbiome analysis on fecal samples collected from MS patients as well as healthy control subjects.
"We identified certain bacteria which are increased or decreased in the gut of patients with MS compared to healthy controls," he said. Mangalam said further research is needed to confirm the team's findings in a larger patient population. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports....