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      HealthWACH - Gut bacteria aids weight loss

      HealthWACH - Gut bacteria aids weight loss

      COLUMBIA (WACH)

      Trillions of bacteria that live in the gut??helping digest foods, making amino acids, and making some vitamins??may help determine if a person is thin or fat. Diet is also a huge factor as to why obesity is linked to gut bacteria. Those who are overweight lack bacteria that fight weight gain. To lose the weight, a high fiber diet is recommended to change the germs in the gut. The gut is where the body processes food and is the determining factor of weight gain and weight loss.

      A bacterium that is found in the gut may prevent food from breaking down, which causes fat to accumulate to the gut region. Gut bacteria may also cause health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, a disorder that causes swelling, pain, loss of joint function, and stiffness. Probiotics are now being used to treat the weight gain from gut bacteria. A probiotic is a bacterium that maintains a balance of organisms in the intestines. Probiotics promote a healthy digestive system, which can help a person lose weight.

      A novel study involving mice and humans, which is part of a growing fascination with gut bacteria and their role in health and diseases like IBS and Crohn??s disease, shows that gut bacteria could be linked to obesity. Researchers found pairs of human twins in which one was obese and the other was thin. They transferred gut bacteria from these twins into mice and watched what happened. The mice with bacteria from fat twins grew fat; those that got bacteria from thin twins stayed lean. However, Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon of Washington University in St. Louis, the senior investigator for the study, says to use caution. He says that they need to figure out which bacteria are responsible for the effect so that people can be given pure mixtures of bacteria instead of feces. The part of the study that was the most shocking to other experts was an experiment indicating that, with the right diet, it might be possible to change the bacteria in a fat person??s gut so that they promote leanness rather than obesity. Researchers found that given a chance, bacteria from a lean twin will take over the gut of a mouse that already had bacteria from a fat twin. The fat mouse then loses weight. However, the opposite does not happen.