Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method of using bacteriocin peptides to reduce gut inflammation, improve gut barrier function, and reduce obesity in humans.
Obesogenic diets, such as diets high in saturated fats and simple sugars, can result in excessive weight gain, an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and other negative health conditions. Symptoms of impaired physiologic function resulting from obesogenic diets result in part from decreased gut barrier integrity, or a “leaky” gut--a condition often observed in obese subjects. Decreased gut barrier integrity can lead to gut inflammation and its associated symptoms--including abdominal pain, vomiting, abdominal distension, and rectal bleeding, and low-grade systemic inflammation (endotoxemia) resulting in increased cardio-metabolic disease risk. In addition, compromised gut barrier function is associated with diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal viral and bacterial diseases, and colon cancer.
Strategies designed to improve intestinal barrier integrity have high potential to improve pathologies associated with obesogenic diets--even without radical dietary changes. The ingestion of living bacteria in probiotics is an emerging approach to prevent the effects of obesity. However, only a few effector compounds--such as proteins produced by the relevant bacteria--are required for significant physiological responses.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method that uses bacteriocin peptides to reduce gut inflammation, improve gut barrier function, and reduce body weight. Two specific types of plantaricin--a specific bacteriocin family--have shown therapeutic potential to promote intestinal barrier integrity. Also, the peptide’s biosynthetic capacity may be used for improved selection of probiotic strains intended for body weight management and reducing gut inflammation. Researchers have tested these plantaricins and demonstrated that they promote cell barrier integrity in vitro and in vivo, as well as reduced weight gain in mice exposed to an obesogenic diet.
Lactobacillus, bacteriocin, plantaricin, weight, obesity, obesogenic, endotoxemia, autoimmune