MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Venkatakrishna R Jala, PhD
James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Louisville
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Humans evolved along with their gut microbiota and adapted their physiological activities to help each other. Along with consumption of healthy diets, humans must harbor the appropriate microbiota to convert the foods into available components called metabolites. These microbial metabolites play a critical role in preserving homeostasis, the development of immune systems and preventing adverse events both systemically and locally. Despite the availability of large metagenomics (bacterial sequence) data, and its associations with disease conditions, the functional dynamics of microbiota (good vs bad) in human health or diseases are yet to be defined. The host’s indigenous gut microbiota and its metabolites have emerged as key factors that greatly influence human health and disease, including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). IBD patients suffer from leaky gut and increased inflammation.
The current study demonstrates that a microbial metabolite derived from ellagitannin/ellagic acid rich diets (e.g., pomegranate, berries) called ‘urolithin A’ and its synthetic analogue significantly enhance gut barrier function in addition to blocking the unwarranted inflammation in IBD animal models. Continue reading