Friday 22 April 2016

Sugar in leafy greens may help gut bacteria

The sugar is called sulfoquinovose (SQ) and is made in green leaves by photosynthesis - the process by which plants use energy from the sun to make chemical energy in the form of sugars. Bacteria use SQ as a source of carbon and sulfur.

Sulfur is important for building proteins - the essential building blocks of all living organisms - explain the authors, who point out that SQ is the only sugar molecule that contains sulfur.

The team thinks it may be possible to use enzymes like YihQ to deliver highly specific antibiotics that target harmful forms of E. coli and other bacteria, such as the food-poisoning bacteria Salmonella, while leaving the good bacteria alone.

When bacteria break down SQ from plants, they release sulfur into the environment, where it re-enters the global sulfur cycle and is used again by the other organisms.

For further details, see: medical news

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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