Skip to main content
Accessibility  |  Contact  |  Privacy  |  Terms of Service

Intestinal Bacteria Types

  • Published: 2011-04-21 : Author: University of Copenhagen
  • Synopsis: Intestinal bacteria flora is hypothesized to have influence on how we react to diet and medicine absorbed through the gastro-intestinal tract.

Main Document

What's your intestinal bacteria type? New research shows that an individual's intestinal bacteria flora, regardless of nationality, gender and age, organizes itself in certain clusters.

As partners in the international research consortium named MetaHit, scientists from the University of Copenhagen have contributed to show that an individual's intestinal bacteria flora, regardless of nationality, gender and age, organizes itself in certain clusters. The cluster of intestinal bacteria flora is hypothesized to have an influence on how we react to both our diet and medicine absorbed through the gastro-intestinal tract. The results have recently been published in the journal Nature.

Most people know about blood types, some also know about tissue types. However, now we may need to consider intestinal bacteria types as well. As part of a large, international research consortium, scientists from the University of Copenhagen have recently contributed to map special "enterotypes", which are three distinctive clusters of bacteria in the human distal gut. Each of these enterotypes reflects a certain balance between various categories of bacteria in the distal gut, and is thought to impact intestinal bacteria digest food leavings, and utilize these for energy delivery to the gut and the whole body energy metabolism, and on how various drugs are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract.

The outcome of the project has recently been reported in the journal Nature's online publication for results that deserve immediate exposure.

"The discovery of enterotypes is expected to influence future research within a number of fields," explains Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen, professor at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Copenhagen, and also one of the lead investigators in the international research consortium MetaHIT, which has conducted the project.

"Our results show that we may have uncovered a new 'biological fingerprint' on the same level as blood types and tissue types. The three enterotypes occur across nationalities and are independent of gender and age. Every enterotype has a certain composition of bacteria that have specific functions, for example energy production from degradation of dietary fibers or formation of certain vitamins. This may potentially affect a number of biological functions - discoveries which at a later stage may be translated into individual diet advice or design of drugs that are adapted to the individual enterotype," Oluf Borbye Pedersen adds.

He underlines that the results published in Nature do not show anything about the precise mechanisms by which the three enterotypes individually affect people that host the bacteria. After further research, more intestinal bacteria clusters will most likely be added to the three enterotypes, which have been identified so far. However, the discovery of their existence gives researchers new opportunities for studying how the about 1.5-kilo gut bacteria, which we all have in our digestive system, affects our health.

The researchers from MetaHIT, an international EU-supported project, have studied 278 volunteers in total from Denmark, Italy, Spain, France, Japan and USA for the paper in Nature. From Denmark, several scientists have contributed from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen; the Lundbeck Foundations Genomics Center, LuCamp; and from the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, Institute for System Biology at the Technical University of Denmark.

Similar Topics

1 : Undetected Raccoon Roundworm Parasite Infections : University of California - Santa Barbara.
2 : Association Between Gut Microbes and Brain Structure in People With IBS : University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences.
3 : Human Intestinal Worms - Deworming and General Information : Disabled World.
4 : Overview of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) : Disabled World.
5 : Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): Symptoms, Causes & Forms : Thomas C. Weiss.
From our Digestive System Disorders section - Full List (42 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.

Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.

Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.

List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.

Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.

1 : vEAR: Why Can I Sometimes 'Hear' Silent Flashes When Viewing Animated Gif's?
2 : New Jersey Digital Art Program for Individuals with ASD
3 : 2018 Lime Connect Fellowship Program for Students with Disabilities
4 : Epihunter Classroom - Making Silent Epileptic Seizures Visible
5 : Prostate MRI Reveals More Treatable Cancers and Reduces Overdiagnosis


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.