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DNA variations affect bacteria in the body.

A person's genes may have a final say on which microbes are allowed to live in and on a person's body, a new study suggests.

Although research has shown that certain mixes of microbes that colonize in the body are associated with some diseases, exactly what determines which microbes are privileged to settle has been a mystery. Diet and geography are partly responsible, as is a person's genetic profile. However, the impact of genetics is still unclear.

A comparison of human and bacterial DNA revealed 51 different human genetic variants, with certain bacterial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in overabundance living in or on 15 areas of the body. Some of the genetic signatures and microbes have been associated with varied diseases. People with a genetic variant near the PCSK2 gene, which is partly responsible for producing insulin, have more of the Bacteroides type in their intestines. That same genetic variant, as well as the bacteria found in abundance, has also been linked to type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.

The study also found that people with a version of CXCL12 gene also carry more Granulicatella bacteria, which are associated with inflammation.

(Source: Biology of Genomes Meeting, May 9, 2012.)
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Dec 22, 2011
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