According to researchers, the makeup of bacteria in the digestive tract of your dog may be more like your own.
Researchers examined gut bacteria populations (“microbiomes”) in two dog breeds, in a new study. The findings showed that the genes in the dogs’ microbiomes had many likenesses with humans. They were more similar to humans than the microbiomes of mice or pigs.
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Study corresponding author Luis Pedro Coelho, from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, said;
“The results of this comparison suggest that we are more similar to man’s best friend than we originally thought.”
The report was published online April 18 in the journal Microbiome.
“These results suggests that dogs could be a better model for studies based on nutrition than pigs or mice, and we could use data from dogs to study the impact of diet on gut microbiota in humans, and humans could be a good model to study the nutrition of dogs,” Coelho said in a journal news release.
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The scientists also discovered that changes in protein and carbohydrate levels in the diet had similar effects on the gut microbiomes of dogs as on humans.
According to the research, the microbiomes of overweight and obese dogs were more responsive to a high-protein diet than the microbiomes of lean dogs.
Coelho added; “Many people who have pets consider them as part of the family and, like humans, dogs have a growing obesity problem. So, it is essential to study the effects of different diets.”