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Scientists identify a new way gut bacteria break down complex sugars

Posted on 27 March 2017

New light has been shed on the functioning of human gut bacteria which could help to develop medicines in the future to improve health and wellbeing.

Professor Gideon Davies worked with a team, led by Professor Harry Gilbert from the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences at Newcastle University, who have found that single microorganisms in the human gut have the ability to disassemble the most complex of carbohydrates in our diet.

It is the first time such a discovery has been made and it is hoped that this may be used to one day identify new pre- and pro-biotic products to enhance people’s health.

The study was recently published in the leading academic journal, Nature.

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Notes to editors:

Complex pectin metabolism by gut bacteria reveals novel catalytic functions is published in Nature. To read, visit: