Obesity -Is Weight Gain Related to Intestinal Bacteria?

This article by Alice Park discusses a study that relates the balance of intestinal bacteria of the gut to weight gain and its possible link to the obesity crisis: If you’re fighting the battle of the bulge, most of your attention – and frustration – is probably aimed at your midsection. It makes sense, since that’s where the extra pounds tend to gravitate, especially with the creep of middle age, piling on to form that dreaded spare tire. But a growing body of research suggests there’s another, less visible reason to focus on your gut if you want to lose weight. Scientists led by Andrew Gewirtz at Emory University reveal that your intestines harbor a universe of bacteria – the so-called gut microbiota – that may play an important role in whether your body will store the food you eat as extra pounds. Gewirtz’s team, including researchers at Emory, Cornell University and the University of Colorado at Boulder, became intrigued by the relationship between gut bugs and weight when they noticed that lab mice lacking a certain protein had more of the bugs than other animals and were about 15% heavier. These mice also had a higher level of inflammation, which the authors explain in their paper published online Thursday in Science Express is what may account for the extra weight. Inflammatory signaling can promote a condition called metabolic syndrome, which causes weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels and a higher risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. The fatter mice in Gewirtz’s study had been bred to lack a protein known as toll-like receptor 5...

~Results may vary from patient to patient. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If pregnant or nursing, ask a health professional before use. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek advice of physician.