Gut Health and Obesity

BACTERIA IN LARGE INTESTINE MAY BE BEHIND OBESITY

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Washington, Dec 22 (ANI): A new study has suggested that bacteria living in people’s large intestine may play a role in obesity.

Scientists behind the study revealed that these bacteria might slow down the activity of the “good” kind of fat tissue, a special fat that quickly burns calories and may help prevent obesity.

The discovery could shed light on ways to prevent obesity and promote weight loss, including possible microbial and pharmaceutical approaches, they said.

Sandrine P. Claus, Jeremy K. Nicholson and colleagues explained that trillions of bacteria live in the large intestine of healthy people, where they help digest food and make certain vitamins.

In recent years, however, scientists have realized that these bacteria do more – they interact with the rest of the body in ways that affect the use of energy and its storage as fat and finely tune the immune system.

Claus and Nicholson decided to see how intestinal bacteria might affect the activity of brown fat. The “good” fat that burns calories quickly before they can be stored as fat, brown fat exists in small deposits in the neck area and elsewhere – not like “white fat” in flab around the waist and buttocks.

No one had checked to see if those bacteria could have an effect on brown fat, the researchers noted.

In experiments that compared “germ-free” (GF) mice, which don’t have large-intestine bacteria, and regular mice, the scientists uncovered evidence suggesting that the bacteria do influence the activity of brown fat.

Brown fat in the GF mice seemed to be more active, burning calories faster than in regular mice.

Large-intestine bacteria also seemed to be linked with gender differences in weight. Normal male mice were heavier and fatter than females, but those differences vanished in the GF mice.

The research also uncovered major differences in the interactions between males and females and their intestinal bacteria that might help explain why the obesity epidemic is more serious and rapidly developing in women.

Those and other findings may point the way toward approaches that kick-up the activity of brown fat in humans to prevent or treat obesity.

About Lisa Goldberg

Hello! And Welcome to my blog, Health News From Your HealthCoach. Having been in the health and fitness industry for the last 16 years, I know that diet and nutrition information can be overwhelming and ever-changing. Over the years I have been asked many of the same questions. “How can I lose weight?” “How can I maintain my weight loss?” “What kind of vitamins should I take?” ” What’s the best alcohol to drink when I’m dieting?” I will address these questions and many others in Health News From Your HealthCoach. My Bio I am a nutritionist with a Masters degree in clinical nutrition from New York University. I am a Certified Nutrition Specialist through the American College of Nutrition, and a Certified Dietician/Nutritionist through New York State. I am also a personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. My company, HealthCoach, has been delivering healthy lunches to trading desks at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and JPMorgan amongst others, since 2004. I counsel my HealthCoach clients and private clients on weight loss, behavior/lifestyle modification and overall health and wellbeing.
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