“You can think of this a bit like dumping fertilizer on a garden,” mentioned co-corresponding writer Karsten Zengler, PhD, professor within the departments of Pediatrics and Bioengineering at UC San Diego College of Drugs and Jacobs College of Engineering, respectively. “The result is an explosion of imbalanced biological growth, benefitting some species but not others.”
Bernd Schnabl, MD, professor of medication and gastroenterology at UC San Diego College of Drugs, is the opposite co-corresponding writer.
Acetate is a nutrient utilized in mobile metabolism and has roles in urge for food regulation, power expenditure and immune response. In average ranges, it promotes total well being, from improved cardiac perform to enhanced crimson blood cell manufacturing and reminiscence perform. In extreme ranges, it’s related to metabolic modifications linked to illness, together with most cancers.
Within the newest examine, Zengler and colleagues fed mice a molecule that may very well be damaged down into three acetates within the rodents’ intestine. The researchers famous the animals’ intestinal microbiota had been altered by the extra acetate in a method just like what they noticed when feeding alcohol to the mice, however with out damaging results to their livers.
“Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with lower intestinal expression of antimicrobial molecules. Persons will alcohol-related liver disease commonly have bacterial overgrowth in their guts,” mentioned Zengler. “These findings suggest that microbial ethanol metabolism does not contribute significantly to gut microbiome dysbiosis (imbalance) and that the microbiome altered by acetate does not play a major role in liver damage.”
“The situation is more complicated than previously assumed. It’s not as simple as more ethanol equals microbiome changes and thus, microbiome dysbiosis equals more liver disease. While this finding does not translate to imminent new treatments for alcoholic liver disease, it will help to delineate the effect of acetate on the microbiota and help refining future study designs.”
The authors mentioned the findings are necessary as a result of they transfer the investigation previous whether or not “changes in the gut microbiome are related to ethanol consumption per se are critical … and towards identifying bacteria that are causal for deleterious effects of alcohol consumption, rather than side-effects either of consumption or disease.”