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An enterotype is a classification of gut flora. It is based on the ecosystem in the human intestinal system. The classification is done by identifying the bacteria and protists which live there. This is called the "human gut biome".

Research shows there are three distinct ecosystems in the guts of people.[1][2] People can be classified into one of three groups based on the bacteria in their intestines. The enterotype of each person is set while the person is an infant.[3]

The enterotype affects how well a person can digest food or absorb drugs.[4] Chimpanzees have enterotypes that look similar to human enterotypes.[5]

Type 1 has high levels of Bacteroides. Prevotella are common in Type 2. Type 3 has high levels of Ruminococcus.[1][6][7]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Zimmer, Carl (April 20, 2011). "Bacteria divide people into 3 types, scientists say". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/science/21gut.html. Retrieved April 21, 2011. "a group of scientists now report just three distinct ecosystems in the guts of people they have studied."
  2. Arumugam, Manimozhiyan; Raes, Jeroenet al (2011). "Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome". Nature 473 (7346): 174–80. doi:10.1038/nature09944 . PMID 21508958 . http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature09944.html. "Our knowledge of species and functional composition of the human gut microbiome is rapidly increasing, but it is still based on very few cohorts and little is known about variation across the world. By combining 22 newly sequenced faecal metagenomes of individuals from four countries with previously published data sets, here we identify three robust clusters (referred to as enterotypes hereafter) that are not nation or continent specific.".
  3. Dyer, Betsy Dexter 2003. A field guide to bacteria. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, Chapter 12: Gram-positive bacteria as symbionts of animals and plants. IBSN 0-8014-8854-0
  4. "Reasons to listen to your gut". The Week: p. 28. December 30, 2011.
  5. Moeller, Andrew H. et al (2012). "Chimpanzees and humans harbour compositionally similar gut enterotypes". Nature Communications 3 (1179). doi:10.1038/ncomms2159 .
  6. Keim, Brandon (2011). "Gut-bacteria mapping finds three global varieties". Wired Magazine. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/04/gut-bacteria-types/. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  7. Coghlan, Andy (April 20, 2011). "Each human has one of only three gut ecosystems". New Scientist. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20401-each-human-has-one-of-only-three-gut-ecosystems.html. Retrieved April 21, 2011.