UT Health San Antonio researchers discover how Vitamin B12 can protect against infections

Researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) have discovered how Vitamin B12 (VB12) can play an integral role in the regulation of host intestinal homeostasis, shaping the gut microbiome health and protecting against pathogenic infections, as found in mouse models.

The study, published June 8 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, sheds light on VB12’s ability to fortify the intestinal epithelium and microbiome homeostasis, making it a potent potential treatment option for intestinal, hematological and neurological diseases, which can include inflammatory bowel diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and pernicious anemia.

Mansour M. Zadeh, PhD

“This novel discovery refreshes our understanding as to how vitamins, particularly VB12, can fundamentally impact the host health and protect against intestinal pathogen infection. One of the novel bacterial strains that our lab works with synthesizes an abundance of VB12, making it a prime target of probiotic interest for further investigations,” said Mansour M. Zadeh, PhD, director of the university’s newest research center, the Center for Mucosal and Microbiome Biology, and distinguished professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition in the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine.

“We believe that the novel mechanisms highlighted in this study will enhance our path forward to mechanistically explore and discover additional novel microbiota-associated products that can improve human health and broaden our understanding of host-microbiome interactions,” Dr. Zadeh said.

The Zadeh lab and the Center for Mucosal and Microbiome Biology’s mission is to be on the cutting edge of microbiome research and education at UT Health San Antonio, serving as an intellectual nexus for basic and translational immunology and bolstering collaboration between a multidisciplinary team of investigators from across the institution.


Vitamin B12 coordinates ileal epithelial cell and microbiota functions to resist Salmonella infection in mice

Yong Ge, Mojgan Zadeh and Mansour Mohamadzadeh

First published: June 8, 2022, Journal of Experimental Medicine

Study link

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