The human body is teeming with thousands of species of microbes that affect health. A study showed that transplanting gut bacteria from obese people into mice led to the animals gaining weight, while bacteria from lean people kept them slim.
The right mix of gut bacteria and the right diet will enable successful weight loss. A human obesity treatment is unlikely to use transplants of thousands of species of bacteria from lean people’s guts as it carries the risk of also transferring infectious diseases. Instead a search for the exact mix of bacteria which benefit weight – and the right foods to promote their growth – is more likely.
The bacteria were then put into mice which had grown up in completely sterile environments and had no gut bacteria of their own.
Mice with the obese twin’s bacteria became heavier and put on more fat than mice given bacteria from a lean twin – and it was not down to the amount of food being eaten.
A lean twin was better at breaking down fibre into short-chain fatty acids. It meant the body was taking up more energy from the gut, but the chemicals were preventing fatty tissue from building up and increased the amount of energy being burned.
Diet was also important for creating the right conditions for the lean twin’s bacteria to flourish. A bacterial obesity therapy seems unlikely to work alongside a a diet of greasy burgers.
a high-fat, low-fibre diet meant the mice still piled on the pounds.
SOURCE – journal Science, BBC News
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