Summary of “Bacteria living in our gut are hijacking and controlling our genes”

Your gut microflora isn’t just sitting silently waiting for you to wolf down your next meal – it turns out there’s a constant conversation going on between these bacteria and your body’s genetic code.
New research has found a chemical produced by ‘good’ bacteria in our digestive system has an unusual effect on the chromosomes in nearby cells, a discovery that could help us better understand links between our diet and the development of one of the world’s most deadly cancers.
Specifically, SCFAs produced by the kinds of bacteria found in a healthy human colon promote crotonylation by preventing an enzyme called histone deacetylase 2 from removing the markers.
To confirm bacteria were indeed responsible, the researchers dosed mice with a cocktail of antibiotics to wipe out most of the bacterial microflora in their guts.
Not only did the SCFAs drop, so too did the crotonylation of the histones in their gut lining.
Exactly what benefits the bacteria might get – if any – wasn’t addressed by the study.
The research could have implications in how our genes are affected by our diet, which could go some way to help flesh out the links between dietary fibre and bowel cancer.
“Our intestine is the home of countless bacteria that help in the digestion of foods such as plant fibres,” says the study’s lead scientist, Patrick Varga-Weisz.

The orginal article.