Can Probiotics Help Keep You Thin?

Did you know that the gut microbiome of obese individuals are different from those of lean ones? Several studies have confirmed that bacteria is the cornerstone of modulating energy metabolism and the microbial composition is associated with body weight increase and reduction. For example, microbes can extract energy from otherwise indigestible dietary polysaccharides. On the other hand, studies in the microbial compositions in twins had yielded results that there is a phylum-level changes in the microbiota between lean and obese individuals. Researchers have claimed that the microbial diversity can reflect the difference in the functional level in regulating hosts’ weights. Another studies mentioned above proclaimed that through metagenomic, biochemical analyses, and from mice and their volunteer patients, the relative abundance of two specific strains can alter their weights: the divisions of Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes. Furthermore, colonization of an “obese microbiota” can result in a significantly increase in total body fat. You can read more here and here. Based on those findings scientists have started to consider manipulating gut flora as a potential method to solve obesity. Obesity is a major public health concern that its prevalence tends to rise over time. Those exciting findings are shedding lights into an effective and relative healthy way to control weight.



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  2. Turnbaugh (2006).
  3. Turnbaugh (2009).