What role do the fungi that live in the gut play in health?
Intestinal bacteria has become an important research area in the health sector in recent years. It is becoming increasingly clear that the gut microbiome plays a major role in our overall health. A US research team has now shown that not only gut bacteria, but also the fungi that live in the gut are important to health and can also be involved in disease processes.
Researchers from the University of Utah Health examined the effects of intestinal fungi on health as part of a recent study. While the fungi grow in a healthy gut, they can cause intestinal damage and contribute to the development of IBD if the intestinal microbiota is out of control. The results of the research were recently published in the journal “nature” Gifts.
Intestinal fungi have so far been little studied
“Intestinal fungi have not been adequately researched to date, in part because bacteria are far outnumbered,” explains the professor of pathology. June tour. The latest tools and technologies contain extensive analysis of Intestinal fungi It was only possible recently, according to the head of research. This work adds an important piece to the bigger picture.
Intestinal fungi are monitored by the immune system
The team used mice to show how the immune system keeps the fungi in the gut in check. If they become pathogenic or if they multiply excessively, immune cells begin to attack the fungi. If this system is unbalanced, it can lead to intestinal diseases.
Crohn’s disease testing provides the definitive evidence الدليل
Round’s team became interested in this branch of research after discovering antifungal antibodies in a common medical test used to diagnose the chronic bowel disease, Crohn’s disease. The effect of these antibodies with the disease was still unclear at the time.
Candida albicans stimulates the immune response
The researchers tracked the effect of the immune reaction in human samples as well as in a mouse model. The working group encountered the yeast Candida albicans as the main agent. Yeast is the most important type of fungi in the human intestine.
Other studies showed that the immune reaction was directed primarily against the so-called hyphae of the fungi. These are thread-like cells that can absorb nutrients and water. With the help of a hyphen, the fungus can penetrate deeply into the tissues. In this way, Candida albicans yeast can cling to and penetrate surfaces.
Candida albicans is not harmful when balanced
The researchers also found that the mushrooms did no harm to mice with a balanced gut microbiome. Mice with a large number of yeast developed known intestinal damage from IBD. However, the mice, which had developed a pronounced immune response against the harmful form of the fungus, were largely able to protect themselves from the effects.
A new approach to treating chronic bowel disease
“Our goal is to exploit interactions between microbes and the host’s immune system in order to make microbial products useful for therapeutics,” explains Round. The research team thinks it’s possible to treat IBD with a directed immune system support.
And preliminary tests in mice have already shown that mice prone to developing chronic bowel disease are less likely to develop such a disease if they are given an active ingredient to boost the immune response.
Intestinal fungi in symbiosis with immune cells
But the research also suggests that healthy levels of the Candida population may be beneficial to health. Because the fungi can be tolerated in its non-pathogenic form. “The immune system forces Candida into its least pathogenic form,” adds the study’s lead author, Kela Ost. This indicates that the contact between the host and the microbe can also be “friendly”. Researchers suspect that both sides benefit from this. (FP)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, clinical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.
Diploma Editor (FH) Volker Plasik
- University of Utah Health: Fungi Living in the Gut Affect Health and Disease (veröffentlicht: 14.07.2021), health.utah.edu
- Kyla S. Ost, Teresa R. O’Meara, W. Zac Stephens, et al: Adaptive immunity induces exchange between commensal eukaryotes. In: Nature, 2021, Nature.com
This article is for general guidance only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.