Gut Microbes may help us gain weigh

As a scientist I am always fascinated by interesting and also funny facts and experiments of course. I will try to keep you up in the loop with some interesting facts.

I will start with a paper that I read recently published in the Journal: “Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism” (Sep 2015, Vol. 26, No. 9). This paper reminded me of something very interesting that I heard years ago on one of my PhD courses. The paper was a review of the current knowledge about the gut microbiota (these are all the microorganisms that are normally living in a symbiotic relationship within the human guts) and its influence on the weight lost/gain and in particular how they affect the regulation of the energy. The scientists discussed few experiments with mice showing that when you put bacteria from the guts of overweight mice into normal weight mice with no bacteria in their guts, they are gaining weight and themselves become overweight. Vice versa when bacteria from the guts of “slim” mice are put in the sterile gut of mice they maintain weight similar to the donor microbiota mice and do not gain weight.

Extrapolating this study to human microbiota this will means that when we eat food like for example cabbage – which should be poor in calories, because in the human tract there no enzymes which will digest it fully and it will pass straight to the other end, there are certain bacteria in our guts which will be helpful and digest to glucose which means that there is more energy for us which if not used is going to be stored as fat. Therefore, you hope you are slimming down eating cabbage but in reality that is not the case. However, don’t worry guys not everything is lost and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The scientist showed that the equilibrium between the different types of bacteria can be moved towards the “good” side of the “slimming” Bacteria after a dieting. In other words if you stop overeating and start leaving the table when you are 80% full, you should be able to reduce the amount of the Bacteria that “help” you gain weight.

As interesting as I find this facts and experiments I would like to stress that this is just one isolated branch of the problem and I will make my best to meet you with different scientific facts about food and eating habits and if there is a connection with genetics or anything else, but please before making any changes in your diet or taking anything extreme consult with a dietitian and your doctor.


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