Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron Growth Numbers Are Unchanged in the Presence of Yogurt

(1) Lowell High School, Lowell, Massachusetts

The microbiome is composed of microorganisms that prime the human immune system for proper functioning and aid in energy harvest and biomolecule production. Disruptions to the microbiome have been linked to the development of certain diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Recent phylogenetic analysis has shown that obese patients have an imbalance in the two major phyla, the Firmicutes and the Bacteroidetes that compose the gut microbiome. The obese gut has higher levels of Firmicute bacteria when compared to Bacteroidetes, which have reduced numbers. This is important because many probiotic foods and supplements are produced using bacteria that fall into the Firmicute phylum. This study explored whether or not Fage plain total 0% Greek yogurt, which contains live and active bacterial cultures belonging to the Firmicute phylum, could decrease the numbers of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, an organism found in the human gut that belongs to the Bacteroidetes phylum. B. thetaiotaomicron was grown in the presence of Fage plain total 0% Greek yogurt containing live and active cultures, and with re-pasteurized Fage plain total 0% Greek yogurt. ANOVA analysis indicated no statistically significant reduction in the numbers of B. thetaiotaomicron when grown in either yogurt condition. This study can be used to guide people in dietary measures meant to keep beneficial Bacteroidetes in the gut.

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bacteria digestive system biology
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