A safe haven for the small

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Science  27 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6387, pp. 394-395
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6387.394-g

The menu for gut microbes is decided by their host and is not always healthy. Linoleic acid, a component of soybean oil, is toxic to beneficial lactobacilli in the laboratory, but its role in shaping the microbiome is less clear. Di Rienzi et al. found that cultured lactobacilli developed strategies to resist the toxic fatty acid and that lactobacilli from mice fed a high-fat diet were more likely to be resistant than those fed a low-fat diet. However, in strains isolated from mice treated with linoleic acid, the resistant lactobacilli were not enriched. Gut bacteria may therefore be shielded from the harmful effects of linoleic acid by the local environment within the gut.

eLife 10.7554/eLife.32581 (2018).

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