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Gut Microbiome Protects Lab Mice Against Arsenic in Water

Arsenic is currently listed as the number one substance that poses the most significant potential threat to human health, however, researchers aren’t as sure as to what microbes in the gut can do to arsenic before it is absorbed into the body.

Acute arsenic toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and severe diarrhea. Chronic low-dose exposure to arsenic has been implicated in respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and numerous forms of cancer.

In a new study, scientists used laboratory mice to sort out how some of these variables affect how the gut microbiome handles arsenic. The findings could benefit communities where arsenic is found in the water supply, and the researchers hope they can one day mediate against toxin through probiotic or other microbiome therapies.

The current study, published December 21 in Nature Communications, used laboratory mice to sort out how some of these variables affect how the gut microbiome handles arsenic.

The hope is that the findings could also benefit communities where arsenic is found in the water supply. The researchers hope they can one day mediate against toxin through probiotic or other microbiome therapies, especially in places where it is not practical to replace a water source.

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