What Kind of Guts Do You Have?
mp3 | wma | wav

What Kind of Guts Do You Have?Just as we can be classified by our blood types, we also can be grouped by the types of bacteria in our gut.

We’re referring to your enterotype. New research shows people can be placed into one of three “enterotypes” based on their gut microbiome.

The term “gut microbiome” refers to all the bacterial species that inhabit a person’s intestinal tract. And the numbers are mind boggling. Consider that your own cells add up to ten trillion.

Sounds like a lot, huh? How about one hundred trillion?

That’s the number of microbes in an average human, and most of these microbes are in the intestinal track. This means your bacteria outnumber your cells by ten to one.

A variety of factors distinguish the three entereotypes. Enterotype 1, for example, has high numbers of a bacterium called Bacterioides and this type has a greater capacity to make the vitamin B7 or biotin.

Enterotype 2 has dominant numbers of a different bacterium, Prevotella, and provides more vitamin B1 or Thiamine.

Lastly, Enterotype 3 is dominated by the bacterium, Ruminococcus.

Interestingly, enterotypes can not be explained by body mass, ethnic background, gender or age. The enterotype you have, you get soon after birth! Pioneering bacteria start colonizing an infant’s gut which then alters the intestinal environment to favor the bacteria of an enterotype.

Knowing which enterotype you are could become pretty useful. Scientists predict that in the future doctors will be able to outline the best diet for you and prescribe the most effective drugs depending on your type.

Companies may even be able to create enterotype-based probiotics that can help restore your gut flora if you’ve had an intestinal infection.

So, I guess when someone asks me for my type, I can’t say tall, dark and handsome anymore?

Can you please spare our listeners??


For more information…

Bacterial Ecosystems Divide People into 3 Groups, Scientists Say
Well written and easily understood New York Times article based on the original research report of the discovery of different enterotypes in people.

Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome
Original research article in the respected scientific journal Nature about the discovery of enterotypes based on the gut microbiome.

Human Microbiome Project (HMP)
National Institutes of Health website that discusses research aimed at defining the Human Microbiome. "The Common Fund's Human Microbiome Project (HMP) aims to characterize the microbial communities found at several different sites on the human body, including nasal passages, oral cavities, skin, gastrointestinal tract, and urogenital tract, and to analyze the role of these microbes in human health and disease".