literature infographic

Infographic: How Ginger Remodels the Microbiome

Small microRNA-containing particles found in the plant can boost populations of healthy gut bacteria, and even improve colitis symptoms in mice.

katya katarina zimmer
Katarina Zimmer

After a year teaching an algorithm to differentiate between the echolocation calls of different bat species, Katarina decided she was simply too greedy to focus on one field. Following an internship with The Scientist in 2017, she has been happily freelancing for a number of publications, covering everything from climate change to oncology.

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Using a mouse model of colitis, researchers studied the effects of ginger-derived exosome-like nanoparticles (GELNs) on gut flora. The team found that GELNs are preferentially taken up by Lactobacillus gut bacteria, and boost their abundance (1). The particles contain microRNAs, which stimulate a suite of bacterial genes (2). In particular, they activate a pathway that results in the expression of interleukin-22 in colon mucus (3). This is believed to promote tissue repair and antimicrobial immunity, ultimately improving colitis symptoms in the mice (4).

© Ikumi Kayama, Studio Kayama

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February 2019 Issue

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