Germs in the Gut May Lead to Obesity

Obesity

A report by researchers on Thursday revealed that germs in the gut might be the reason for obesity and other health related problems.

The report published in the journal Science said that certain bacteria have the tendency to increase appetite as well as incite bowel conditions like Crohn's disease and colitis.

Andrew Gewirtz of Emory University in Atlanta said, "Previous research has suggested that bacteria can influence how well energy is absorbed from food, but these findings demonstrate that intestinal bacteria can actually influence appetite".

Researchers found that a lean mouse had become obese when it was given gut bacteria from fat mice. It also developed metabolic syndrome, unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and insulin resistance.

However, if the food intake was restricted, it was no longer obese but remained insulin-resistant.

"People are getting obese because they're eating more, but it suggests the reason they're eating more may not simply be that calories are cheap and available", Gewirtz said. "The reason they're eating more may be an increased appetite resulting from changes in intestinal bacteria".