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Beer and bread yeast-eating bacteria aid human health

Posted on 8 January 2015

Bacteria that have evolved to eat their way through yeast in the human gut could inform the development of new treatments for people suffering from bowel diseases, according to new research involving scientists at the University of York.

The study, published in Nature today, shows how microbes in our digestive tract have learned to unravel the difficult to break down complex carbohydrates that make up the yeast cell wall.

Professor Gideon Davies, of York Structural Biology Laboratory in the Department of Chemistry at York, who contributed to the work, said: “The ability of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron to degrade yeast cell wall components may be of importance in fighting off yeast infections and in autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease."

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