Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gut Bacteria Diversity in Weight Control

A 2008 study done in St. Louis showed that trillions of bacteria live in our gut. These bacteria perform many functions for our bodies, including calorie extraction and nutrient management. Although bacteria are found in all our guts, each individual has a unique set of gut bacteria. One study indicated that the makeup of the gut bacteria plays an important role in weight control. And more recently, studies have shown that individuals with the least diverse set of gut bacteria are more susceptible to obesity.

In one of these recent studies, researchers looked at the stool of approximately 300 Danish subjects. Subjects in the group were a mixture of lean and obese individuals. The researchers found that the group members who had a low level of gut bacteria diversity had more insulin resistance, more inflammation, and signs of future metabolic diseases. The researchers also concluded that obese group members who had low levels of gut bacteria diversity were more likely to gain weight.

Another one of the recent studies done by researchers in France examined a group of 49 French subjects. All of the subjects were overweight or obese. And all of the subjects were put on a low calorie diet. For those subjects who started the low calorie diet with a low gut bacteria diversity, there was an improvement in metabolic parameters. But for those who started the low calorie diet with a high gut bacteria level, the improvement in metabolic parameters was less pronounced.
So a high level of gut bacteria diversity can improve metabolic parameters and help a person maintain a healthy weight. And diet apparently plays an important role in diversifying our gut bacteria. Therefore, gut bacteria are an area that deserves a lot more research. More research will enable analysts to pinpoint the diets that best diversify gut bacteria.

Organizations that offer meal replacements should be especially interested in this research. Understanding gut bacteria may enable these organizations to provide improved meal replacement products.

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