How do fermented foods, for example yoghurt and sauerkraut prove to be advantageous to an individual’s health and the immune system specifically? A new research has discovered a cell mechanism distinctive to humans and great apes that can provide a description.
The mechanism contains a cell receptor known as HCA3. A cell receptor is a protein which gives way to particular signals to go into the calls when a corresponding molecule fastens to it. The scientists were aware about HCA3 since many years but they were unclear of its function. Humans and great apes are the only ones who have HCA3 receptor. Other mammals, for example mice, are not equipped with it.
Just now, a team from the University of Leipzig in Germany, together with other members, has found that HCA3 is receptive to a specific metabolite or byproduct, of lactic acid bacteria action. The metabolite goes by the name D-phenyl lactic acid (D-PLA). When it joins with HCA3, it precipitates a signal that notifies the immune system to the existence of the bacteria. The researchers explain their results in a latest PLOS Genetics study paper.
The senior study author Claudia Stäubert, who works in the Medical Faculty at the University of Leipzig, says “we are satisfied, that this receptor is meant to provide benefits and anti-inflammatory impacts of lactic acid bacteria in individuals”
About Lactic acid bacteria and fermented foods
Lactic acid bacteria are microorganisms that are able to ferment specific foods. They are able to produce yoghurt from milk and sauerkraut from cabbage, for example. They are also found in the gut of many mammals.
The bacteria are part of a large group of “functional microorganisms” that ferment foods from plant and animal roots. These microbes change food in various ways that humans utilize and are advantageous to health.
It is not just possible for fermentation microbes to change the texture, flavor and aroma of food but also increase storage life by the means of preservation, increase absorption of nutrients, break down toxins, encourage probiotic activity and create antioxidants.
It is found in the study that ingesting fermented foods provides health advantages that are applicable to cancer, heart disease, allergies, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Nevertheless, though many studies have connected lactic acid bacteria to many health benefits, there is very vague awareness of the fundamental biology. Stäubert and her colleagues researched this question by looking into the part of hyrdoxycarboxylic acid (HCA) receptor. “These receptors, are regulators of immune purpose and energy homeostasis under altering metabolic and dietary states”, states the authors.
Progress history of HCA3 receptor
Various mammals have two HCA receptors; HCA1 and HCA2. Though, humans and great apes have a third receptor; HCA3. In the research conducted, the researchers describe how they “rebuilt the progress history” of HCA receptors and made it visible that is, “practically available in humans and all other great apes”
They converse together about how lactic acid bacteria were by this time fermenting animal and plant materials way back before humans “took benefit” of the procedure. Some long time back there was a notable global change that impacted the “the last well-known ancestor of early hominoids”. It is mostly that this alteration disturbed eating routines, so that fermented fruits and leaves penetrated the diet at about this time.
New information on microbe-host development
To conclude it all, the study provides information on how particular microbes – for example those that ferment food and are present in the gut – and humans changed together. It can encourage further investigation on how to utilize the biological mechanisms through which fermented foods become beneficial to health
In the case of HCA3, Staubert explains that she and her members, “knew it could provide help as a possible drug target to tackle inflammatory diseases.”
The team advises that future researches should find out how D-PLA impacts the immune system. They should also look into whether the metabolite effects other cells that carry HCA3, like the fat cells.