banner

processed food

Formed during the food manufacturing process, Maillard reaction products (MRPs) in processed food can have harmful health effects. A study published in Cell Host & Microbe shows that human gut microbes can break down fructoselysine, a common MRP, into innocuous byproducts.

“This study gives us a deeper view of how components of our modern diets are metabolized by gut microbes, including the breakdown of components that may be unhealthy for us,” said Jeffrey I. Gordon, professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and corresponding author of the study. “We now have a way to identify these human gut microbes and how they metabolize harmful food chemicals into innocuous byproducts.”

In the study, the researchers showed that a specific bacterium called Collinsella intestinalis breaks down the chemical fructoselysine into components that are harmless. “Fructoselysine is common in processed food, including ultra-pasteurized milk, pasta, chocolate, and cereals,” said first author Ashley Wolf, a postdoctoral researcher in Gordon’s lab. “High amounts of fructoselysine and similar chemicals in the blood have been linked to diseases of aging, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis.”

When fed a diet containing high amounts of fructoselysine, mice harboring Collinsella intestinalis in their gut microbial communities showed an increase in these bacteria as well as an increase in the gut microbiome’s ability to break down fructoselysine into harmless byproducts.

“The new tools and knowledge gained from this initial study could be used to develop healthier, more nutritious foods as well as design potential strategies to identify and harness certain types of gut bacteria shown to process potentially harmful chemicals into innocuous ones,” declared Gordon. “A corollary is that they may help us distinguish between consumers whose gut microbial communities are either vulnerable or resistant to the effects of certain products introduced during food processing.”

More from IFTNEXT right arrow

Amino acid plays a role in durian fruit’s stinky smell

The durian fruit stinks. Literally. The fruit from Southeast Asia is said to at best smell like rotten onions. Now, new research has found that an amino acid plays a role in giving the durian fruit its notorious smell.

Interrupting the reproductive cycle for Aspergillus

For as long as humans have been growing food crops, pests and pathogens have been attacking them. For one fungal pathogen, scientists in the United Kingdom have figured out a way to use its own biology to prevent it from destroying crops.

Natural fertilizer could help increase crop production

Fertilizers used for growing crops can be expensive and produce negative environmental impacts. But the results of a study published in Nature Microbiology could open the door to reducing fertilizer usage by increasing biological nitrogen fixation.

Hybridization among fish yields new species

To explain the diversity of species among fish, scientists had been referring to adaptive radiation. However, a study published in Nature Communications provides an alternative view of how some fish species evolved.

Latest News right arrow

Dairy-rich diet linked to lower risks of diabetes, high blood pressure

Eating at least two daily servings of dairy may be linked to lower risks of diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as the cluster of factors that heighten cardiovascular disease risk (metabolic syndrome), according to a study published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Our ability to focus may falter after eating a meal high in saturated fat

New research suggests that eating just one meal high in saturated fat may hinder our ability to concentrate.

Nearly 20% of U.S. kids are obese

Nearly one in five U.S. kids are obese, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data reported by the Associated Press.

IBD sufferers may be consuming similar foods

A study published in PLOS One suggests that foods such as french fries, cheese, cookies, soda, and sports and energy drinks may be commonly found in the diets of U.S. adults with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

More berries, apples, and tea may protect against Alzheimer’s

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that consuming more flavonoid-rich foods, such as berries, apples, and tea, may help protect against developing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.