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Why Leafy Green Veggies Keep The Gut Healthy

April 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
British and Australian researchers have discovered a previously unknown enzyme that gut bacteria, fungi and other organisms use to feed on an unusual but abundant sugar sulfoquinovose (SQ) found in green vegetables. The researchers said gut bacteria, including crucial protective strains of E. coli, use SQ as a source of energy. E. coli creates a protective barrier that keeps bad bacteria from growing and colonizing in the gut. “The good bugs are taking up all the habitable real estate," said one scientist, who added that the findings may someday be used to develop “an entirely new class of antibiotics.”
Gaetano Speciale et al., "YihQ is a sulfoquinovosidase that cleaves sulfoquinovosyl diacylglyceride sulfolipids. ", Nature Chemical Biology, April 05, 2016, © Macmillan Publishers Limited
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