Research concluded that the role of small intestinal bacteria allow new treatments for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, showed that cholesterol metabolism is regulated by bacteria in the small intestine. These findings may be important for the development of new medicines for various diseases, including cardiovascular disease. The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism (Cell Metabolism) and it is shown that intestinal bacteria reduces bile acid synthesis in the liver, through a specific protein that is located primarily in the small intestine, known as the nuclear receptor farnesoid X or FXR (from the acronym “Farnesoid X receptor” ).

The liver, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk

It is known that cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol – which is mainly synthesized in the body but also obtained from dietary sources – is converted to bile acids in the liver, fatty acids are produced in the intestine and are expelled from the body or are recycled back to the liver.

The liver is the major organ where cholesterol is metabolized not only by its action on the synthesis, but also because it eliminated through the bile duct. In the synthesis of bile acids is modified with cholesterol intervention of nuclear receptors FXR and LXR (liver receptor alpha or ” Liver X Receptor alpha “in English), activated sensors and regulators as maintaining balance cholesterol metabolism through its conversion to bile acids. In this process of synthesis of bile acids, which have been discovered from bacteria intervention bowel regulatory agents metabolism cholesterol in their action on receptors FXR.


The investigation of the influence of intestinal bacteria

The influence of intestinal bacteria in human health and disease in general is a field of research is rapidly expanding. Fredrick Backhed, professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, who was the one who led the research team published study is investigating long as gut bacteria are related to diseases called “lifestyle” such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Now that this progress has been made ​​with respect to the detection of the regulatory role of intestinal bacteria, the next step will be to determine which ones affect receptor FXR. Thus backhead said: ” If future research can identify specific bacteria affecting FXR in the intestine, this could lead to new ways to treat diabetes and cardiovascular disease. ”

Intestinal bacteria and cholesterol medications

Another research participants, Sama Sayin, highlights the action of drugs against high cholesterol and how to advance the field of intestinal bacteria in the same direction. Sayin said: The drugs that lower cholesterol levels are reduced to a great extent and in recent years, deaths from cardiovascular disease. Our study is a step forward because we have shown how gut bacteria regulate the formation bile acids from cholesterol . Further research on the action of bacteria in the FXR receptor is important, not only because this affects the metabolism of cholesterol, but is also involved in the sugar metabolism and body fat.