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Microbiome Diversity “Protects Against Pathogens”

New research has found that large variety of microbes in the gut protects against disease-causing microbes by "nutrient blocking"

A diverse gut microbiome is up to 1000 times more effective at restricting pathogen growth than individual gut bacteria.

The research, published in “Science”, noted that single types of bacteria displayed “very poor ability” to restrict the spread of pathogens. 

"...colonization resistance is a collective property of microbiome communities... a single strain is protective only when in combination with others."

"Our work supports the general hypothesis that a more diverse microbiome can carry health benefits. "

The team from the University of Oxford found that the bacterial communities in the gut inhibited pathogen growth by “consuming the nutrients that the pathogen needs”.

Therefore, as the team says, it appears that increasing the diversity of the microbiome could provide protection against bacteria that are harmful to our health. 

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