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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

Gut Study Divides People Into Three Types

from Nature News

Just as there are a few major blood types that divide up the world, so too, a study has found, there are just three types of gut-microbe populations. The result could help to pinpoint the causes of obesity and inflammatory bowel disease, and to personalize medicine.

"This is important. Say you want to compare ill people and healthy people; you better match them properly [by gut type]," Dusko Ehrlich told Nature at a human microbiome conference in Vancouver, Canada, in March. Ehrlich, a senior researcher on the paper published in Nature, is director of the Microbial Genetics Research Unit at the National Institute for Agricultural Research in Jouy-en-Josas, France, and part of a European consortium aiming to unpick links between gut microbes and disease.

The finding of just three types of gut-microbe population was an unexpected result that fell out of the team's early analysis. The types aren't related to age, gender, nationality or diet. "What causes it? We don't know," says Ehrlich.

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