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A new study shows that the prebiotic inulin improves vascular function in an animal model of cardiovascular disease. A key mechanism for how dietary gut microbiota modulation regulates host physiology through the activities of host–microbiota co-metabolic signalling via bile acids and glucagon-like peptide 1 is also explained.
One effect of weight-loss surgery is a change in food preferences. An analysis in rats shows that this is caused by altered nutrient signals in the intestine. These activate the vagus nerve to increase signalling in the brain by the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Fascination about the gut microbiota shows no signs of slowing down. The launch of the US National Microbiome Initiative in 2016, and similar efforts across the globe, underscore the continued enthusiasm for microbiome studies in the USA and beyond. Indeed, 2016 has been yet another notable year for gut microbiota research.