Patt Morrison for May 24, 2011

Forget the blood-type diet; bring on the bacteria-type diet!

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Sanofi Pasteur/Flickr

Hopefully this bacteria isn't factored into your diet, because it's Salmonella typhi, the bacteria responsible for typhoid fever.

A new Nature study looking at bacteria systems growing in the gut divides people into three groups. Similar to the way blood types divide people into four groups, the new research finds there are three distinct bacteria ecosystems that transcend sex, weight, health, age and race. It’s not clear yet whether these bacteria types are hereditary or whether they randomly colonize our guts as infants and stick around for the rest of our lives, but they could hold some big keys to personalized medicine. Understanding our bacteria type could aid in more precisely predicting a patient’s disease susceptibility and drug efficacy, to more accurately tailoring our diets.

Guest:

Rob Knight, associate professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Computer Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute early career scientist


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