Navigation Links
Gut Bacteria Might Be Making People Fat
Date:11/11/2009

Study in mice suggests link between intestinal microbes, diet and obesity

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Eating a Westernized diet with lots of sugar and carbohydrates caused almost instantaneous changes in the gut flora of mice -- changes that caused the mice to become obese, researchers have found.

These shifts in the microbial environment, reported in the Nov. 11 edition of Science Translational Medicine, might mean that experts should look more closely at the billions of microorganisms residing in human guts to better understand and perhaps even treat the epidemic of obesity plaguing the modern world.

"Although how much you eat and how much you exercise are dominant drivers of your energy balance, it's possible that microbial communities and how they work also comprise a factor that determines your risk for obesity or risk for malnutrition," said study senior author Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon, director of the Center for Genome Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The researchers plan to use the mouse model, or "humanized" mouse, to further study the diverse organisms that reside in people's guts and how their presence might effect their hosts' health.

"There are 10 times more microbial cells associated with adult human bodies than there are human cells, so we are 90 percent microbial and 10 percent human," Gordon said. The bacteria can help people digest and absorb food that might otherwise be indigestible.

But the denizens of the digestive system are hard to study, given the complex environmental, genetic and cultural factors that affect digestion and obesity.

To devise a better way to study these microorganisms, Gordon and his fellow researchers transplanted microbes from human feces into mice that, courtesy of genetic manipulation, had no gut microorganisms of their own.

"When we switched these humanized animals [from a low-fat] to a junk-food diet, high in fat with lots of simple sugars, the structure of the microbial community changed dramatically and very rapidly, not only in terms of who's there or which species but the proportional representation of species changed very abruptly within 24 hours," Gordon explained. "These mice also became obese on Western diets."

"The microbes can adjust with astonishing speed to different types of diets," he said.

And transplanting the microbes to another set of microbe-free mice also caused the new mice to gain weight, even though they were on a low-fat feeding plan.

"They also showed that the microbiota passes from generation to generation," said Jun Sun, an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York. "This raises the question of whether we can pass microbiota from mothers to children, and the answer seems to be yes."

The "21st century medicine cabinet," then, might be composed of microbes themselves or drugs targeting particular sets of microbes to modify how they work in a person's gut, Gordon said. "We can identify the human genes that are manipulated by microbes and those themselves could become therapeutic targets."

The findings also helped advance science, Sun said.

"In the past, scientists published very descriptive studies of the flora, but the big question was how to apply the research," she said. "I think we have jumped a big step forward. Now scientists have an established, well-controlled model of the gut flora."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on overweight and obesity.



SOURCE: Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D., director, Center for Genome Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; Jun Sun, Ph.D., assistant professor, microbiology and immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, N.Y.; Nov. 11, 2009, Science Translational Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Bacteria See the Light
2. Antibacterial Soap Claims Just Dont Wash
3. New viruses to treat bacterial diseases -- My enemies enemy is my friend
4. UVa researcher awarded $3.6 million grant to fight drug-resistant bacteria
5. Bacteria successful in cancer treatment
6. What gives us sunburn protects crayfish against bacteria
7. Appendix isnt useless at all: Its a safe house for bacteria
8. Early Bacterial Infection May Boost Asthma Risk
9. GenPrime Initiates External Clinical Trials of its Bacterial Contamination Test for Rapid Detection of Bacteria in Platelets
10. New peptide communication factor enabling bacteria to talk to each other discovered
11. New Study Reveals MRSA Bacteria Common Among Pigs and Farm Workers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer ... unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid ... healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, ... Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the ... Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their ... Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a ... the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) ... obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events ... in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function of ... patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep the ... balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients & ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data ... analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the ... analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, ... a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, ... winners, announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org by ... 1 diabetes stand in the way of academic and ... the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: