Scientists suggest linkages between obesity and oral bacterial infection

Jul 08, 2009

A scientific team from The Forsyth Institute has discovered new links between certain oral bacteria and obesity. In a recent study, the researchers demonstrated that the salivary bacterial composition of overweight women differs from non-overweight women. This preliminary work may provide clues to interactions between oral bacteria and the pathology of obesity. This research may help investigators learn new avenues for fighting the obesity epidemic.

This work will be published in the Journal of Dental Research, and is available online today at http://jdr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/full/88/6/519."There has been a world-wide explosion of , with many contributing factors," said Dr. J. Max Goodson, senior author of the study. "However, the inflammatory nature of the disease is also recognized. This led me to question potential unknown contributing causes of obesity. Could it be an epidemic involving an infectious agent?" "It is exciting to image the possibilities if oral bacteria are contributing to some types of obesity," added Goodson.

Summary of Study

In order to measure the salivary bacterial populations of , samples were collected from 313 women with a body mass index between 27 and 32 (classifying them as overweight). Using DNA analysis, the researchers measured the bacterial populations of this group and compared it with historical data from 232 individuals that were not overweight. Significant differences in seven of the 40 species studied occurred in the salivary bacteria of subjects in the overweight group. In addition, more than 98 percent of the overweight women could be identified by the presence of a single bacterial species, called Selenomanas noxia, at levels greater than 1.05 percent of the total salivary bacteria. These data suggest that the composition of salivary bacteria changes in overweight women. It seems likely that these bacterial species could serve as indicators of a developing overweight condition and possibly be related to the underlying causation.

Dr. Goodson noted that the reasons for a relationship between obesity and oral bacteria are likely complex. The observed relationship may be circumstantial as being related to diet or opportunistic due to metabolic changes. In the next phase of this research, Dr. Goodson plans to further examine this relationship by initially conducting a controlled cohort study to see if this initial observation can be reproduced. In addition, he hopes to conduct longitudinal studies in children to see if oral infection relates to weight gain. Ultimately, the development of strategies to eliminate specific oral bacteria would be required to provide definitive evidence that certain oral bacteria may be responsible for weight gain.

Source: Forsyth Institute

Explore further: Sweden discovers suspected case of Ebola, official reports

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Periodontal diseases are blind to age

Jun 12, 2007

Two new studies in the June issue of the Journal of Periodontology (JOP) suggest that periodontal diseases are a threat to women of all ages due to hormonal fluctuations that occur at various stages of their lives.

New bacterial species found in human mouth

Aug 11, 2008

Scientists have discovered a new species of bacteria in the mouth. The finding could help scientists to understand tooth decay and gum disease and may lead to better treatments, according to research published in the August ...

Overweight kids have fewer cavities, new study shows

Apr 02, 2008

Contrary to conventional wisdom, overweight children have fewer cavities and healthier teeth compared to their normal weight peers, according to a study published in this month’s issue of Community Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology.

Obesity risks increase after menopause

Oct 25, 2007

Postmenopausal women are at an age when the incidence and exacerbation of the chronic health conditions associated with obesity become more prevalent. A new article published in Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nu ...

Study: U.S. babies are becoming fatter

Aug 10, 2006

U.S. medical researchers have examined more than 120,000 Massachusetts children under age 6 for 22 years -- and found today's babies are fatter.

Recommended for you

Dengue fever strikes models in Japan

1 hour ago

A worsening outbreak of dengue fever in Japan has claimed its first celebrities—two young models sent on assignment to the Tokyo park believed to be its source.

Japanese researchers develop 30-minute Ebola test

1 hour ago

Japanese researchers said Tuesday they had developed a new method to detect the presence of the Ebola virus in 30 minutes, with technology that could allow doctors to quickly diagnose infection.

Senegal monitors contacts of 1st Ebola patient

14 hours ago

Senegalese authorities on Monday were monitoring everyone who was in contact with a student infected with Ebola who crossed into the country, and who has lost three family members to the disease.

Cerebral palsy may be hereditary

20 hours ago

Cerebral palsy is a neurological developmental disorder which follows an injury to the immature brain before, during or after birth. The resulting condition affects the child's ability to move and in some ...

19 new dengue cases in Japan, linked to Tokyo park

Sep 01, 2014

Japan is urging local authorities to be on the lookout for further outbreaks of dengue fever, after confirming another 19 cases that were contracted at a popular local park in downtown Tokyo.

User comments : 0