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What is the link between gut microbes and obesity progression?


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The researchers found how a type of gut microbe exacerbated obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet.

The discovery was published in the journal Cell Metabolism and could help scientists develop new ways to treat obesity with the help of the microbiome.

Obesity is a major risk factor for other metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes, which is an increasing health problem worldwide.

While it seems that obesity can be controlled through diet, many people do not respond to dietary therapy.

A growing body of evidence suggests that changes in the gut microbiota play a role in the onset and maintenance of obesity in humans. But it was difficult to show how this happened in practice.

One reason for this difficulty is the sheer number of bacterial species. It is estimated that there are over 3,500 species of the human gut microbiome, of which a person may have between 200 and 1,000 species in their gut.

Now, a research team at the Riken Institute for Integrative Health Sciences (RIKEN) in Japan, led by Hiroshi Ono and colleagues, has shown how one type of bacteria, called Fusimonas intestini, which is prevalent in people with obesity and diabetes, exacerbates obesity in people. Mice fed a dietary diet. A diet rich in fats.

They found that a high-fat diet can alter the expression of certain genes in Fusimonas intestini that are involved in fatty acid metabolism.

This change in phenotype resulted in the bacteria overproducing trans fatty acids, which are associated with obesity.

These fatty acids, in turn, disrupt the gut, damaging the integrity of the intestinal barrier and causing minor inflammation that is associated with weight gain.

To confirm that altered gene expression is the cause, the team showed that mice that had only E. coli bacteria with the same genetic changes in their gut were more likely to develop obesity.

This discovery opens up the possibility of an intervention to reverse this effect. “Removing Fusimonas intestini from the gut may help prevent obesity or obesity-related metabolic problems. Another strategy is to prevent the metabolism of Fusimonas intestini,” Ono says.

Not all gut bacteria are harmful and cause obesity. And some can help deal with it. The team is currently looking for other bacterial species that could help prevent the rapid weight gain that typically occurs in mice fed a high-fat diet.

Source: Medical Express

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