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.

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 September 17, 2014 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 September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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