Bacteria and fat ratios: can being male or female determine your bacteria?

Background:

Much insight has been gathered about gut microbiota (the bacteria present in our bodies) and its overall role in human health, but a majority still remains unknown. Based on previous studies it is understood that gut microbiota and diversity are greatly influenced by individuals and their weight characteristics (lean and obese) (Min et al., 2019).  But little to nothing is known in regards to sex-specific association, fat distribution and their effects on the bacterial gut communities. While men tend to have a lower average body fat percentage than females, the locations in which men and women store their fat could also play a great role in overall gut microbiota (Min et al., 2019) . These variations in the microbiome could possibly be linked or help explain adverse health effects seen in men and women, such as abdominal obesity in men and metabolism differences (Min et al., 2019). It is believed that the distribution of body fat on women aids in the protection in metabolic diseases such as type two diabetes and other life threatening illnesses (Karastergiou et al., 2012). Continue reading “Bacteria and fat ratios: can being male or female determine your bacteria?”

Turning Up the Heat: The effects of bacterial and viral co-infection in children

Background:

In young children the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is a common infection site, with severe infections causing gastroenteritis (irritation and inflammation of the stomach and gut). These infections are most commonly caused by viruses and bacteria, although there are also cases of parasitic causes, such as giardia. Rotavirus and norovirus are most commonly found to be viral sources of infection while varieties of E. coli (EPEC and EAEC in the case of  this study) are frequent bacterial infecting agents. Globally, acute gastroenteritis (AGE), more commonly known as the stomach flu (not to be mistaken for influenza), is responsible for over 1.3 million deaths every year, about 15% of all childhood deaths in children under five (Mathew, S. et al. 2019). This early life (6 months or younger) AGE has also been linked with a significant increase in the development of asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and atopic dermatitis (eczema) later in childhood. This is exacerbated if the gastroenteritis results in a long term imbalance to the microbiome in the child’s developing GIT, with the effects potentially worsened by the application of antibiotics (Pan, H.H. et al. 2019).  Continue reading “Turning Up the Heat: The effects of bacterial and viral co-infection in children”

Association Between The Human Microbiota and Type II Diabetes Mellitus

Microbes in a gut under magnifying glass (from www.diabetesdaily.com 2016)

Type II diabetes mellitus is increasing at an alarming rate, especially in children. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, the number of individuals with type II diabetes is projected to rise to more than 590 million by the year 2035 (Diabetes, 2017 and Upadhyaya, 2015). Type II diabetes is the result of the body’s resistance to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. The WHO states that type II is largely the effect of being overweight and very little exercise. Type I diabetes is distinguished by the bodies inability to produce insulin and there is no way to prevent it. Symptoms of type II diabetes include thirst, constant hunger, weight loss, vision loss, numbness in feet, and tiredness (Diabetes, 2017).  Scientists are trying to discover new ways to mediate the effects of type II diabetes and many think that the gut microbiota of the human body might correlate with diabetes in an interesting way. Continue reading “Association Between The Human Microbiota and Type II Diabetes Mellitus”