A new study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic may shed some light on why certain people can lose more weight than others despite adhering to the same regime of exercise and caloric restriction. Alongside a myriad of other recent medical discoveries, the secret may lie in the unique make-up of our gut bacteria.
from The Washington Free Beacon:
Three-Quarters of Young Americans Don’t Qualify for Military Service
Nearly three-quarters of young Americans are ineligible to serve in the United States military due to obesity, criminal record, or lack of education, according to a new report by the Heritage Foundation.
The contracted pool of Americans aged 17 to 24 who are fit to enlist in the armed services poses an “alarming” threat to national security and risks derailing the Trump administration’s path to rebuilding a depleted military, the report found, citing Pentagon data.
Gut microbes may be another way to tackle obesity, new research suggests.
Could a transplant of gut bacteria be the key to tackling obesity?
Scientists found that by altering the levels of gastric bugs in mice, they were able to induce rapid and significant weight loss.
The change occurred after bacteria from obese mice that had undergone gastric bypass surgery were transplanted into ordinary animals.
Surgery had the effect of altering the make-up of the gut flora, introducing a different balance which promoted slimming.
When this new mix of microbes was transferred to non-obese mice, the weight loss benefits were transferred too.
The U.S. research shows that gastric bypasses do more than prevent food being digested. Much of their impact is due to altered ecology in the gut.
‘It may not be that we will have a magic pill that will work for everyone who’s slightly overweight,’ said study leader Dr Peter Turnbaugh, from Harvard University, Boston.
‘But if we can, at a minimum, provide some alternative to gastric bypass surgery that produces similar effects, it would be a major advance.’
Gastric bypasses work by rearranging the gut so that it accommodates less food.
The research showed that after surgery different kinds of microbe began to take over. In particular, the gut became dominated by verrucomicrobia and gammaproteobacteria. In contrast levels of the Firmicutes family of bugs fell.
It took less than a week for the rebalancing to occur, and the effect continued for months afterwards.
The new population of bugs appeared to drive weight loss, and continued to do so when transferred to a non-obese group of mice that had not undergone a gastric bypass.
‘Simply by colonizing mice with the altered microbial community, the mice were able to maintain a lower body fat and lose weight – about 20 per cent as much as they would if they underwent surgery,’ said Dr Turnbaugh.
He suspected an even more dramatic result would have been seen if the mice receiving the bugs had been fattened up beforehand.
How particular populations of microbes induce weight loss remains unclear.
The answer may be linked to waste products the bugs excrete, according to the research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Along with the altered microbes, the scientists found changes in the concentration of certain short-chain fatty acids. Previous studies have suggested the molecules may trigger signals that cause the body to speed up metabolism, or store fewer calories as fat.
‘A major gap in our knowledge is the underlying mechanism linking microbes to weight loss,’ said Dr Turnbaugh. ‘There were certain microbes that we found at higher abundance after surgery, so we think those are good targets for beginning to understand what is taking place.’
Co-author Dr Lee Kaplan, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said: ‘We need to learn a good deal more about the mechanisms by which a microbial population changed by gastric bypass exert its effects, and then we need to learn if we can produce these effects – either the microbial changes or the associated metabolic changes – without surgery.
‘The ability to achieve even some of these effects without surgery would give us an entirely new way to treat the critical problem of obesity, one that could help patients unable or unwilling to have
Attribution: Anna Hodgekiss, Mail Online
I don’t know if I buy this but it’s an interesting tidbit to consider. I personally, am more concerned with the overuse of antibiotics leading the way to anitbiotic resistant super-bugs.
Antibiotics Can Make Kids Fat
by: Sam Rolley
Researchers are exploring a new culprit in the ever-growing childhood obesity epidemic: rampant use of antibiotic drugs to treat minor childhood illness.
A new study from the International Journal of Obesity suggests that treating infants with antibiotics during the first several months of their lives could have the same fattening effects. Babies that were given antibiotics within the first six months of life were more likely to be overweight as toddlers than those not exposed to the drugs. The study couldn’t prove beyond the shadow of doubt, however, that antibiotics were the only cause of weight gain.
A similar study examined the medical records of children born in the U.K. in the early 1990s and also found that infants given antibiotics within the first six months of life were more likely to be overweight or obese as toddlers when compared to babies not exposed to the drugs.
Other studies on the effects of antibiotics on the gut microbes of lab mice might explain the reason behind the weight gain. Researchers found that in the mice, antibiotics changed the makeup of gut bacteria that are instrumental in helping the body break down food and store proper amounts of fat.