D-phenyllactic acid is absorbed from lactic acid bacteria fermented food and induces HCA3-dependent migration in human monocytes (immune cells). Image: Claudia Stäubert
Bacteria in fermented food signal to the immune system - life short science news

Lactic acid bacteria, which convert cabbage into sauerkraut and milk into yoghurt, have been found to secrete a substance (D-phenyllactic acid) that binds to a particular receptor on immune cells unique to apes and humans.

D-phenyllactic acid signals to the immune system and to fat cells that that both foreign substances and energy have entered the body.

This signaling pathway from gut bacteria to cells in the body may be at the basis of the beneficial effects of eating fermented food (yoghurt, sauerkraut) on human health.

Read the full story: Universität Leipzig
Scientific publication: PLoS Genetics