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Microbes might manage your cholesterol: Researchers discover mysterious bacteria that break down cholesterol in the gut -- ScienceDaily

Then Kenny narrowed their search further. In the lab, he inserted each potential gene into bacteria and tested which made enzymes to break down cholesterol into coprostanol. Eventually, he found the best candidate, which the team named the Intestinal Steroid Metabolism A (IsmA) gene. "We could now correlate the presence or absence of potential bacteria that have these enzymes with blood cholesterol levels collected from the same individuals," said Xavier. Using human microbiome data sets from China, Netherlands and the United States, they discovered that people who carry the IsmA gene in their microbiome had 55 to 75 percent less cholesterol in their stool than those without. "Those who have this enzyme activity basically have lower cholesterol," Xavier said.