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Association between functional lactase variants and a high abundance of Bifidobacterium in the gut of healthy Japanese people.

A new interesting article has been published in PLoS One. 2018 Oct 19;13(10):e0206189. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0206189. eCollection 2018. and titled:

Association between functional lactase variants and a high abundance of Bifidobacterium in the gut of healthy Japanese people.

Authors of this article are:

Kato K, Ishida S, Tanaka M, Mitsuyama E, Xiao JZ, Odamaki T.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Previous studies have shown that Japanese people exhibit a higher abundance of Bifidobacterium compared to people from other countries. Among the possible factors affecting the gut microbiota composition, an association of functional lactase gene variants with a higher abundance of Bifidobacterium in the gut has been proposed in some reports. However, no Japanese subjects were included in these studies. In this study, we investigated the possible contribution of functional lactase loci to the high abundance of Bifidobacterium in Japanese populations. Based on a data analysis assessing 1,068 healthy Japanese adults, a number of subjects is at least seven times greater than that reported in available online data. all subjects possessed CC genotype at rs4988235 and the GG at rs182549, which are associated with low lactase activity. We observed a positive correlation between dairy product intake and Bifidobacterium abundance in the gut. Considering previous reports, which revealed that four additional functional lactase loci, rs145946881, rs41380347, rs41525747 and rs869051967 (ss820486563), are also associated with low lactase activity in Japanese people, our findings imply the possible contribution of host genetic variation-associated low lactase activity to the high abundance of Bifidobacterium in the Japanese population.

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