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Celiac.com 05/14/2018 - An imbalance or defect in gut bacteria function may be a major cause of hair loss and pattern baldness. Pattern baldness (alopecia areata) affects approximately 1.7 per cent of the population and we still don’t know precisely what causes it. In addition to promoting a healthy digestive tract, our gut bacteria play an important function in our overall health. Recent experiments with antibiotics and bacteria-free mice reveal how a single a single gut bacteria, Lactobacillus murinus, could cause pattern baldness by triggering deficiencies in biotin. Biotin, vitamin B7, is a crucial vitamin. Biotin deficiency can lead to skin disease and hair loss. Some bacteria in our gut produces biotin, while other bacteria breaks down and consumes biotin. Biotin deficiency is most often seen in patients with serious conditions, such as celiac disease, but it can also be common among pregnant women. Previous research has shown that bacteria-free mice that lack biotin in their diet, develop mild hair loss (alopecia). Could an imbalance or defect in gut bacteria function be a major cause of hair loss and pattern baldness? To determine if the underlying cause of hairless might be an imbalance of our gut bacteria, a team of Japanese scientists conducted experiments with antibiotics and bacteria-free mice to see if variations gut bacteria might cause pattern baldness by influencing biotin levels. The team first fed laboratory mice a diet with and without biotin, but saw no impact on hair loss. They then repeated the experiment, but this time they also gave the mice a long course of antibiotics to destroy the balance of bacteria in their gut. The laboratory mice on a biotin-free diet coupled with antibiotics saw an increase in a particular gut bacteria that corresponded to patten hair loss, as was previously shown in bacteria-free mice. By studying what had happened in the gut bacteria of these mice, the scientists discovered that a particular type of lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus murinus, had expanded after the antibiotic treatment. When the team fed bacteria-free mice with Lactobacillus murinus, they saw that the hair loss became even worse and the mice became almost entirely bald. Further tests followed, in which regular mice and bacteria-free mice received a regular diet with normal levels of biotin, but added Lactobacillus murinus. These mice showed no hair loss at all. Direct injections of biotin also stopped hair loss; although the team did concede that skin bacteria could also play a role. The discovery that gut bacteria and diet to influence hair loss creates new avenues for treating baldness and hair loss simply by adjusting gut microbiota. It’s possible that probiotic dietary supplements can be used to influence gut bacteria, and prevent the biotin-eating bacteria now known to cause hair loss. Stay tuned for news on the role of gut bacteria in hair loss, and on any new treatment approaches to hair loss and alopecia that may result. Their results appear in the scientific journal Cell Reports.
Jefferson Adams posted an article in Celiac Disease & Gluten Intolerance ResearchCeliac.com 04/25/2018 - A team of Yale University researchers discovered that bacteria in the small intestine can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response. In this case, they looked at Enterococcus gallinarum, which can travel beyond the gut to the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver. The research could be helpful for treating type 1 diabetes, lupus, and celiac disease. In autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, and celiac disease, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. Autoimmune disease affects nearly 24 million people in the United States. In their study, a team of Yale University researchers discovered that bacteria in the small intestine can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response. In this case, they looked at Enterococcus gallinarum, which can travel beyond the gut to the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver. They found that E. gallinarum triggered an autoimmune response in the mice when it traveled beyond the gut. They also found that the response can be countered by using antibiotics or vaccines to suppress the autoimmune reaction and prevent the bacterium from growing. The researchers were able to duplicate this mechanism using cultured human liver cells, and they also found the bacteria E. gallinarum in the livers of people with autoimmune disease. The team found that administering an antibiotic or vaccine to target E. gallinarum suppressed the autoimmune reaction in the mice and prevented the bacterium from growing. "When we blocked the pathway leading to inflammation," says senior study author Martin Kriegel, "we could reverse the effect of this bug on autoimmunity." Team research team plans to further investigate the biological mechanisms that are associated with E. gallinarum, along with the potential implications for systemic lupus and autoimmune liver disease. This study indicates that gut bacteria may be the key to treating chronic autoimmune conditions such as systemic lupus and autoimmune liver disease. Numerous autoimmune conditions have been linked to gut bacteria. Read the full study in Science.
Jefferson Adams posted an article in Celiac Disease & Gluten Intolerance ResearchCeliac.com 04/16/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to investigate whether alterations in the developing intestinal microbiota and immune markers precede celiac disease onset in infants with family risk for the disease. The research team included Marta Olivares, Alan W. Walker, Amalia Capilla, Alfonso Benítez-Páez, Francesc Palau, Julian Parkhill, Gemma Castillejo, and Yolanda Sanz. They are variously affiliated with the Microbial Ecology, Nutrition and Health Research Unit, Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology, National Research Council (IATA-CSIC), C/Catedrático Agustín Escardin, Paterna, Valencia, Spain; the Gut Health Group, The Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK; the Genetics and Molecular Medicine Unit, Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia, National Research Council (IBV-CSIC), Valencia, Spain; the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire UK; the Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, IISPV, URV, Tarragona, Spain; the Center for regenerative medicine, Boston university school of medicine, Boston, USA; and the Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu and CIBERER, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona, Spain The team conducted a nested case-control study out as part of a larger prospective cohort study, which included healthy full-term newborns (> 200) with at least one first relative with biopsy-verified celiac disease. The present study includes 10 cases of celiac disease, along with 10 best-matched controls who did not develop the disease after 5-year follow-up. The team profiled fecal microbiota, as assessed by high-throughput 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, along with immune parameters, at 4 and 6 months of age and related to celiac disease onset. The microbiota of infants who remained healthy showed an increase in bacterial diversity over time, especially by increases in microbiota from the Firmicutes families, those who with no increase in bacterial diversity developed celiac disease. Infants who subsequently developed celiac disease showed a significant reduction in sIgA levels over time, while those who remained healthy showed increases in TNF-α correlated to Bifidobacterium spp. Healthy children in the control group showed a greater relative abundance of Bifidobacterium longum, while children who developed celiac disease showed increased levels of Bifidobacterium breve and Enterococcus spp. The data from this study suggest that early changes in gut microbiota in infants with celiac disease risk could influence immune development, and thus increase risk levels for celiac disease. The team is calling for larger studies to confirm their hypothesis. Source: Microbiome. 2018; 6: 36. Published online 2018 Feb 20. doi: 10.1186/s40168-018-0415-6