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Methanobrevibacter smithii

Methanobrevibacter smithii is a species of bacteria commonly found in the guts of healthy humans, fulfilling the important role of enabling efficient digestion of polysaccharides, which are complex sugars. It does this by combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide to produce methane, while supporting the extraction of energy from nutrients. Methane-producing microorganisms are known as methanogens. Methanobrevibacter smithii can make up 10% of all anaerobes (oxygen-hating bacteria) in the colon.

"In general, higher levels of methanogens can be associated with constipation.

The "methano" part of the genus name Methanobrevibacter (pronounced "meth-ANNO-brevvy-BACK-tuh SMITH-EE-eye"), refers to its association with methane, while the "brevibacter" suffix means "short rod", describing the shape of bacteria in this genus.

References 

1. Armougom, F., Henry, M., Vialettes, B., Raccah, D., & Raoult, D. (2009). Monitoring Bacterial Community of Human Gut Microbiota Reveals an Increase in Lactobacillus in Obese Patients and Methanogens in Anorexic Patients. PLoS ONE, 4(9), 1-8. 

2. Weaver GA, Krause JA, Miller TL, W. M. (1986). Incidence of methanogenic bacteria in a sigmoidoscopy population: an association of methanogenic bacteria and diverticulosis. Gut, 27, 698-704. 

3. Pimentel M, Mayer AG, Park S, Chow EJ, Hasan A, Kong Y (2003). Methane production during lactulose breath test is associated with gastrointestinal disease presentation. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 48(1), 86-92."


 


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