Baker’s Yeast Worsens Crohn’s Disease, Study Suggests

Baker’s Yeast Worsens Crohn’s Disease, Study Suggests
The common yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as Baker’s yeast, may aggravate Crohn’s disease, research suggests. The study, “A member of the gut mycobiota modulates host purine metabolism exacerbating colitis in mice,” was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Although the entire gut microbiota plays an important role in human health, most studies have focused on the bacterial population. Antibodies against S. cerevisiae, a species of yeast, are found in some patients with Crohn’s disease, which suggests the strain is involved in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the mechanism linking S. cerevisiae to IBD symptoms has not been spelled out. “To me this was a huge hole in our understanding of the role of yeast in IBD and our health,” June Round, PhD, the study’s lead author, said in a news release. She is an associate professor in the University of Utah's Department of Pathology. Round’s team first analyzed the effect that S. cerevisiae and Rhodotorula aurantiaca – another common yeast strain in the gut microbiome – had on germ-free mice with colitis. R. aurantiaca did not worsen intestinal inflammation symptoms. But S. cerevisiae affected the permeability of the gut barrier and increased the metabolism of purines, chemical compounds that S. cerevisiae is unable to break down. The increase in
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