Complex World of Gut Microbes Fine-Tune Body Weight
More research needed, still these scientists may be on to a contributing factor in weight control…
Microorganisms in the human gastrointestinal tract form an intricate, living fabric made up of some 500 to 1000 distinct bacterial species, (in addition to other microbes). Recently, researchers have begun to untangle the subtle role these diverse life forms play in maintaining health and regulating weight….
Research conducted by the authors and others has demonstrated that hydrogen-consuming methanogens appear in greater abundance in obese as opposed to normal weight individuals. Further, the Firmicutes — a form of acetogen — also seem to be linked with obesity. Following fermentation, SCFAs persist in the colon. Greater concentration of SCFAs, especially propionate, were observed in fecal samples from obese as opposed to normal weight children. (SCFAs also behave as signaling molecules, triggering the expression of leptin, which acts as an appetite suppressor.)
While it now seems clear that certain microbial populations help the body process otherwise indigestible carbohydrates and proteins, leading to greater energy extraction and associated weight gain, experimental results have shown some inconsistency. For example, while a number of studies have indicated a greater prevalence of Bacteroidetes in lean individuals and have linked the prevalence of Firmicutes with obesity, the authors stress that many questions remain.
Alterations in gut microbiota are also of crucial concern for the one billion people worldwide who suffer from undernutrition. Illnesses resulting from undernutrition contribute to over half of the global fatalities in children under age 5. Those who do survive undernutrition often experience a range of serious, long-term mental and physical effects. The role of gut microbial diversity among the undernourished has yet to receive the kind of concentrated research effort applied to obesity — a disease which has reached epidemic proportions in the developed world.
Exploiting microbes affecting energy extraction may prove a useful tool for non-surgically addressing obesity as well as treating undernutrition, though more research is needed for a full understanding of regulatory mechanisms governing the delicate interplay between intestinal microbes and their human hosts….
- Complex world of microbes fine-tune body weight (medicalxpress.com)
- We are not alone: How the bugs in our gut influence our eating habbits (thebrainbank.scienceblog.com)
- Complex world of microbes fine-tune body weight (eurekalert.org)
- Gut Bacteria Determine How Fat You’ll Be (news.softpedia.com)
- Good bugs gone bad: Gut immune cells keep beneficial microbes in their place (medicalxpress.com)
- Microbes and Weight: Do Gut Bacteria Influence How We Eat? (organicauthority.com)
- Gut Microbiota Transplantation May Prevent Development Of Diabetes And Fatty Liver Disease (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Gut Check: Future of Drugs May Rest with Your Microbes (livescience.com)
- Microbes Control your Immune Response – and Maybe Your Weight too, From Harvard’s The Truth About Your Immune System Special Health Report (prweb.com)
- Breast-fed babies’ gut microbes contribute to healthy immune systems (eurekalert.org)
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