For the first time, researchers have identified how some common bacteria found in the gut react during metabolism.

An algorithm has been developed that predicts how different candidates will respond to a given diet depending upon the composition of their microbiota, the collective term for gut bacteria, of which there can be up to 1,000 different types.

"This method allows us to begin identifying each individual bacteria type's metabolism and thus get a handle on the basic mechanisms in human metabolism," says research team leader Jens Nielsen, professor of systems biology at Chalmers University of Technology.

Humans have dramatically different compositions of gut bacteria, according to the paper, and previous research has found links to certain compositions and some diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and arterial hardening, which the research team hope to combat with their new method.

The paper on the new diets was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.