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Japanese Guts Are Made For Sushi 309

Posted by samzenpus
from the weed-eaters dept.
cremeglace writes "Americans don't have the guts for sushi. At least that's the implication of a new study, which finds that Japanese people harbor enzymes in their intestinal bacteria that help them digest seaweed, enzymes that North Americans lack. What's more, Japanese may have first acquired these enzymes by eating bacteria that thrive on seaweed in the open ocean."

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Japanese Guts Are Made For Sushi

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  • Idle? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Escaflowne (199760) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @03:06AM (#31772612)

    What a surprise, samzenpus posting an idle article on the main page under a heading such as Science or Your Rights Online so his articles get more views.

    Seriously, take a look at the articles you've posted today samzenpus and the sections you placed them in. All, but one of your stories are Idle and yet all of them appear on the main page.

    Thanks for bypassing my filters and cluttering up people's pages with your nonsense.

  • by magamiako1 (1026318) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @06:59AM (#31773672)
    The article states clearly that:

    Gene transfer from the living bacteria transferred into the Japanese people's genome that produces enzymes in the gut that make breaking down seaweed easier (i.e. they get more from it).

    They didn't say you couldn't eat seaweed and that it was bad for you if you don't have these enzymes, just that it's better for you if you do.
  • by evilandi (2800) <andrew@aoakley.com> on Thursday April 08, 2010 @08:32AM (#31774300) Homepage

    'Caucasian' includes the peoples of the Indian and Arabian subcontinents, as well as the European subcontinent.

    "I do not think it means what you think it means."

  • Re:Americans (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @08:51AM (#31774500) Journal
    Not having the enzymes won't make any difference to your enjoyment of the dish, it will just mean that the seaweed won't be broken down for digestion. It will simply pass through your system like fibre. You can enjoy it, you just won't get any nutrition from it. I'm not really surprised by this discovery; it explains why I feel hungry about an hour after eating sushi.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2010 @08:56AM (#31774576)

    Not if they're giving birth with a competent doctor/midwife/whoever. A catheter and proper procedure keeps all that off the baby. I have two kids, so I've seen it happen. Next time try going to a hospital instead of a biker bar.

  • Re:Implications (Score:2, Informative)

    by RebelWithoutAClue (578771) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:53AM (#31775340) Homepage
    It's probably not that hard. You could probably get a faecal transplant [wikipedia.org] if you really wanted to.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 08, 2010 @09:58AM (#31775422)

    Primarily the Mother - in cases of vaginal birth. Breastfeeding, touching, etc add more. The infant is pretty well colonized within 1-6 months.
    Wikipedia article on Gut Flora
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut_flora#Acquisition_of_gut_flora_in_human_infants

  • Re:babies (Score:3, Informative)

    by Opyros (1153335) on Thursday April 08, 2010 @11:42AM (#31777112) Journal
    One of them was a baby, according to this article [discovermagazine.com]:

    For now, it's not clear how long these marine genes have been living inside the bowels of the Japanese. People might only gain the genes after eating lots and lots of sushi but Hehemann has some evidence that they could be passed down from parent to child. One of the people he studied was an unweaned baby girl, who had clearly never eaten a mouthful of sushi in her life. And yet, her gut bacteria had a porphyranase gene, just as her mother's did. We already known that mums can pass on their microbiomes to their children, so if mummy's gut bacteria can break down seaweed carbs, then baby's bugs should also be able to.

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission

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