Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bacteria help infants digest milk more effectively than adults

Date:
November 24, 2010
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Infants are more efficient at digesting and utilizing nutritional components of milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts. Researchers now report on genomic analysis of these strains identifying the genes that are most likely responsible for this difference.

Infant breastfeeding. Infants are more efficient at digesting and utilizing nutritional components of milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts.
Credit: iStockphoto/Hywit Dimyadi

Infants are more efficient at digesting and utilizing nutritional components of milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts.

Related Articles


Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Utah State University report on genomic analysis of these strains in the November 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology identifying the genes that are most likely responsible for this difference.

"Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are the third-largest solid component of milk. Their structural complexity renders them non-digestible to the host," say the researchers. "Bifidobacterium longum strains often predominate the colonic microbiota of exlusively breast-fed infants. Among the three recognized subspecies, B. longum subsp. infantis achieves high levels of cell growth on HMOs and is associated with early colonization of the infant gut."

In the study the researchers used whole-genome microarray comparisons to associate genotypic biomarkers among 15 B. longum strains exhibiting various HMO utilization patterns. They identified 5 distinct gene clusters on B. longum that were conserved (showed little or no variation) across all strains capable of growth on HMOs and have also diverged in strains incapable of growing on HMOs.

The results of this study suggest that B. longum has at least 2 distinct subspecies: B. longum subsp. infantis, adapted to ultilize milk carbon and found primarily in the digestive tract of children, and B. longum subsp. longum, specialized for plant-derived carbon metabolism and associated with the adult digestive tract.

"Although early gut colonization is likely dependent on a multitude of dietary and nondietary factors, the delivery of complex oligosaccharides through milk creates an ideal and unique nutrient niche for the establishment of, and colonization by, B. longum subsp. infantis strains," say the researchers. "During weaning, a gradual transitioning from milk-based to plant-based diets generates a shift in carbon availability in the gastrintestinal tract favorable for the expansion and formtion of an adult-like gastointestinal tract microbiota."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. G. LoCascio, P. Desai, D. A. Sela, B. Weimer, D. A. Mills. Broad Conservation of Milk Utilization Genes in Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis as Revealed by Comparative Genomic Hybridization. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2010; 76 (22): 7373 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00675-10

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Bacteria help infants digest milk more effectively than adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101122121709.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2010, November 24). Bacteria help infants digest milk more effectively than adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101122121709.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Bacteria help infants digest milk more effectively than adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101122121709.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins