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"Scientists Link Obesity to Gut Bacteria" What do you think of this article?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 20, 2012 at 7:29 PM

I came across this article in the Financial Times (not known for medicine or science, but credible for the most part). I have to link to an unknown (to me) website as FT is subscription based. Anyway, it seems very interesting and a bit beyond my knowledge, so I thought I would post it here to see what people think. Additionally, if to be believed, is there a way to reduce enterobacter in our guts?

Scientists Link Obesity to Gut Bacteria

An opportunistic pathogen isolated from the gut of an obese human causes obesity in germfree mice

0b73cdbd0cb68aeeda14dafeebb2f828

on December 22, 2012
at 09:23 AM

The paper didn't address that question but you should pick up gut flora from your mum as you are being born. Being born via C Sections affects the development of a healthy gut flora and so C Section babies are more likely to develop obesity problems. Similarly the use of antibiotics in childhood affects gut flora and increases obesity. It's why so many tones of antibiotics are used in meat production where increased weight gain is required. I've linked to a paper above showing the type of food eaten also changes gut flora.

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7 Answers

4
0b73cdbd0cb68aeeda14dafeebb2f828

on December 21, 2012
at 05:58 PM

You can read details of the actual diet used here

Dietary intervention and sampling. This volunteer was given a diet composed of whole grains, traditional Chinese medicine and prebiotics (WTP diet) for intervention. He was given 4 cans of gruel per day as staple food contract prepared in the form of cooked porridge (370 g wet weight per can) then canned by a food manufacturer (Shanghai Meilin Meida Food Co., Ltd.) for 23 weeks. Each can contained 100 g dry ingredients (59 g of carbohydrate, 15 g of protein, 5 g of fat, and 6 g of fiber) providing 336 kcal energy (70 % of carbohydrate, 17 % of protein, 13 % of fat)

They used BITTER MELON to reduce Enterobacter cloacae and prebiotics to increase the growth of commensal microbia and limiting the action of Enterobacter cloacae by altering the gut pH. It's interesting to note that pro-inflammatory cytokines were reduces and Adiponectin, an anti-inflammation factor, increased. It's interesting to speculate if simple measures like raising Vitamin D3 25(OH)D levels to 50ng/ml (at which level it's most effective as an anti-inflammatory agent) or improving omega 3 (anti-inflammatory) <> omega 6 (pro-inflammatory) ratio may also change gut flora and make it easier to lose excess weight?

This paper explains how the readily digestible carbohydrate amylopectin (ie from refined wheat) promotes the growth of obesity promoting gut bacteria. The intestinal microbiota in aged mice is modulated by dietary resistant starch and correlated with improvements in host responses

It's also worth thinking about how How Bacteria may control host appetites?

4
58e20177ffdd502d8ce2b6440adeed3d

(138)

on December 20, 2012
at 09:03 PM

The study specifically indicated a diet rich in whole grains as creating an environment that killed the bug. I'd like a pill, TBO. But, my guess is since the outcome is more calories and less body fat, paleo or primal eating also kills the bug. Chances are it grows well in a sugar rich environment. But, I'd love to see someone conduct a study on paleo dieters to see what their pathogen tests reveal.

3
5011fc28e78c188534a0164d81d6e185

(30)

on December 26, 2012
at 03:53 PM

The individual was not the study. One subject does not a study make. The study was the effects of culturing germ-free mice with Enterobacter from the gentleman's gut (obesity and insulin resistance) and injecting the endotoxin into healthy mice (insulin resistance). The treatment of the subject to lower his enterobacter levels was an illuminating and fascinating example which should spur further studies in that direction.

2
6486826b269cf5b9578f947b5b645fc4

on December 21, 2012
at 11:02 PM

My question is why did this individual have such a high level of Enterobacter in his gut to begin with? Are they implying that having high levels of gut Enterobacter contributes to obesity? Endotoxin-induced inflammation is not novel. What is the correlation of gut floral in other obese individuals.

0b73cdbd0cb68aeeda14dafeebb2f828

on December 22, 2012
at 09:23 AM

The paper didn't address that question but you should pick up gut flora from your mum as you are being born. Being born via C Sections affects the development of a healthy gut flora and so C Section babies are more likely to develop obesity problems. Similarly the use of antibiotics in childhood affects gut flora and increases obesity. It's why so many tones of antibiotics are used in meat production where increased weight gain is required. I've linked to a paper above showing the type of food eaten also changes gut flora.

1
E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on December 21, 2012
at 11:16 AM

enterobacter is susceptible to carbapenem antibiotics. so thats one way to reduce them but not ideal.

1
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on December 20, 2012
at 09:25 PM

It isn't the first I've heard of such a thing. A search over at ScienceDaily shows all sorts of similar research.

I take it all with a grain of salt, as one study doesn't show anything but the need for more studies. However, it is good that scientists do think that there are lots of things that may contribute to obesity.

-1
2c791017395013580f4ad87d4d1df441

on February 17, 2013
at 11:38 AM

use of antibiotics is not an ideal to reduce bacteria.daily intake of unpolished grains

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