The role of the gut for health

The IFB participates in the MetaCardis-Study and examines the interaction between gut and metabolic or cardiovascular diseases.

Foto: iStock

In this MetaCardis-Study scientists from different European countries examine the relation between human gut flora and the health of our heart, blood circulation and metabolism.  The Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) AdiposityDiseases is part of this large multicenter clinical trial.
With a special genetic analysis of stool samples the human gut flora can be scrutinized in detail. Thus, the researchers can see how the gut flora of the patients with metabolic diseases such as diabetes (type 2) differs from the gut flora of obese or healthy subjects. Study participants benefit from many free medical examinations, e. g. of blood, urine and stool samples, of the body composition, adipose tissue, the liver, the heart and certain blood vessels.
The target of MetaCardis is to better understand the role of the gut in the development of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, the scientists want to find out which characteristics of the gut flora point to an increased risk of diseases and how these illnesses can be treated via the gut and the gut flora in future. Clinical trials have already shown that the transfer of the gut flora of healthy people to the intestine of a sick patient has a positive effect on his health.
For a MetaCardis –Study in Leipzig the IFB was searching for three groups of participants aged 18 to 75 years, who are:

• very overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 35kg/m² and above
These study participants should not have diabetes (type 2)

• with a diabetes (type 2) and a BMI of 27 to a maximum of 35 kg/m²

• normal weight persons  with a BMI between 19  and 25 kg/ m²

People interested could contact the IFB. Apart from certain tests the participants had an interview for about one and a half hours with a doctor. They got blood taken and filled out questionnaires. They also got the utensils that allow you to collect stool and urine samples at home and to send them by parcel. More information about MetaCardis offers a press release of the IFB, the information leaflet for potential study participants and www. metacardis.eu. The study is funded by the European Union (FP7).

Doris Gabel