New Study Finds Bacteria May Hold Key To Obesity
A recent report published in the journal Science paves the way for new obesity treatments.
The study found that there is a difference in the quantity and variety of bacteria that live in obese people versus healthy people.
The scientists started with the question, are the bacterial differences a cause of obesity rather than the result.
They assembled 8 people, 4 sets of twins (one pair identical) who had one obese and one lean sibling. The identical twins ruled out inheritance as a factor and using siblings controlled the variables in the subject childhood diets and environment.
The scientists then removed gut bacteria from each of the subjects and injected it into mice. The mice that received bacteria from the obese subjects gained more weight than than the mice that were injected with lean bacteria. The mice gained weight even though they ate the same amount of food.
Now its going to get a little gross here. The mice were kept in the same cage and mice eat feces. So the mice were able to swap bacteria. Then a surprising thing happened. The weight and the metabolism of the obese injected mice improved while the lean injected mice were not affected.
It turns out that because the bacteria in obese mice was less diverse, there was room for the good bacteria to move in.
How can we apply this to humans?
It's going to get grosser. Doctors already perform stool transplants to treat diarrheal infections, perhaps they can also treat obesity in this manner. But I think most people will wait until they figure out how to put the good bacteria into pill form.
In the meantime there is already a treatment available. A person can increase the amount of good bacteria in their body by eating a healthy and balanced diet. Also, start each day with a glass of lemon water to boost metabolism and flush the liver to allow it process fat more efficiently.
Thank you to vlauria for the photo.