Intestinal Bacteria Blamed for Rotund Figures

by Medindia Content Team on  December 22, 2006 at 6:27 PM Research News
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Intestinal Bacteria Blamed for Rotund Figures
The journal ,Nature reported a very interesting finding made by a group of researchers from Washington University. The researchers found that obese people seem to have loads of a special kind of bacteria in their gut that helps to digest food well .Slim folks seem to have lesser amounts of the same bacteria.

Humans need efficient bacteria in their intestines to help digest foods that are tough to be broken down and the bacteria in obese people seem more helpful to accomplish this . Obese people are capable of generating more energy from the same helping of food that a thin person, owing to the presence of the helpful bacteria. The excess energy if not actively dissipated gets converted to padding around the waist!

The researchers conducted a controlled test in experimental mice .When the mice were given extra helpings of bacteria from fat ,they were found to become more rotund .If these findings find a footing with more clinical trials ,it could pave the way to fight the extra bulge , by controlling the bacteria count in the intestines.

The bacteria belong to two major divisions ,Bacteriotedes and Firmicutes, that comprise the majority of the intestinal bacterial flora in humans. Mice too have the same bacterial flora in their intestinal tract. Fatter mice have more Firmicutes in their gut than the other bacteria showed the researchers. Firmicutes seem to aid in digesting food that is hard for the body to digest. Although the study fails to explain many aspects of the cause of obesity it is potentially a trail blazer with a whole new concept of how to tackle one of the most common health hazards of our times agrees other experts.

Other experts have cautioned that it could be wrong to jump to a conclusion that the bacteria are the cause for the excesses noticed, although they agree that that there does seem to be an invincible correlation.

The increase in the good bacteria could also be a result of obesity opined Dr. Richard Atkinson of the Obetech Obesity Research Centre in Richmond. Many other experts also have chosen to disagree with this research. Many experts feel that this study may send wrong impressions to people who may increase their intake of food .

More than half the American population is estimated to be overweight. About 15% 0f children in U.S are considered obese. More people are sedentary ,involving themselves in little or no exercise and finding an easy way out to slough off the excess fat is not the panacea to be sought for by scientists.The National Institutes of Health and the W.M. Keck Foundation funded this study.

Source: Medindia

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