T Nation

Gut Bacteria Divide People Into 3 Types


"One possibility is that the guts, or intestines, of infants are randomly colonized by different pioneering species of microbes".

Nature or Nurture?


3 distinct microbiomes in the human gut not correlated to ethnicity? and leaning toward idea that competing microbial species dictates an individuals enterotype?

Good stuff. Maybe when this information becomes more available to general public, people will have more insight of what kind of foods they should//shouldnt be eating.


Why would the conclusion be that it's random? I would think it has the most to do with dietary qualities of the mother's breast milk, especially the fatty acid makeup.
I've always thought of a healthy mother breast feeding as the dietary bedrock for future health.
A sure way to cripple your kid's health early is to feed them synthetic formula, or worse still, soy based formula.


Or, rather than having as the only theory that the bacteria change the gut so that other bacteria cannot thrive as well, could it be that personal traits result in different people's guts being suited to any of three different ecosystems of bacteria?

It certainly can be the case that personal traits can vary independently of ethnicity.

Now I am not ruling out that the bacteria might not indelibly and irreversibly change the gut to favor their own kind, but at least from the article I'm not seeing where that's a necessary conclusion or even necessarily warranted at all.


I'm assuming that when you say 'personal traits' you are referring to some trait that is hereditary. In which case simple genetic studies could be done on enteotypes within families to determine if there is some genetic component to it.

But coming from a biology background, it's far more interesting to think about symbiotic gut microbes having an all-out-battle for rights to your poo. LOL


Here's an excellent interview on the subject I listened to back in 2007.


Yes, but it might not be simple. It might be the result of a complex interrelationship of genes that can collectively have one of three possible outcomes.

But if it is dependent on the person's genetics rather than chance outcome or environment, then if true that ought to be provable, as you say.


Someone send me some good bacteria, because I am running out of intestine to have removed.