Gut bacteria composition may explain why some people become fat

January 20th, 2009 - 3:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 20 (ANI): Bacteria in the gut which are crucial to the body’’s ability to turn food into energy could explain why some people become obese and others dont, according to a new study.

The study suggests that the composition of microbes within the gut may hold a key to one cause of obesityand the prospect of future treatment.

Researchers at Arizona State University’’s Biodesign Institute in collaboration with colleagues at the Mayo Clinic, Arizona, and the University of Arizona, recruited 9 middle-aged volunteers in three groupsnormal weight, morbidly obese and following gastric bypass surgeryto participate in the study.

The research team’’s central hypothesis is that differing microbial populations in the gut allow the body to harvest more energy, making people more susceptible to developing obesity.

These small differences can, over time, profoundly affect an individual’’s weight.

Supporting this view is the study’’s confirmation that the microbial composition among obese patients appears significantly altered compared with both normal weight individuals and those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery.

However, the researchers stress that the study is preliminary, but were encouraged by the findings from their small sample.

Future investigation is needed to establish the differences in composition of gut microbiota across different age groups and under varying weight-loss regimens involving diet and exercise.

The study has been published in the January 19 early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. (ANI)

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