Overweight? Get someone else's gut bacteria

March 18, 2011 By Albert Sikkema

People who are overweight may have different gut bacteria from those in their slender fellow human beings. This is the contention of Willem de Vos, professor of Microbiology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, in his dies lecture on 9 March.

The human being has countless numbers of bacteria in his body: 10 to the power of 14, or in other words, a '1' with 14 zeros. Those in the stomach and the process our food. The composition of these bacteria differs from person to person, says De Vos. For twins from one , the bacterial compositions in their bodies are broadly the same, even if they live separately. Scientists have now found evidence that the bacterial composition in the body can influence, among other things, diseases and weight. When researchers introduced from an obese mouse and those from a normal mouse in sterile mice, the mice with the gut bacteria from the obese mouse became obese, while the others did not, De Vos added.

Because we have so many bacteria in us - we have more bacteria than body - our bacterial metabolism is very complex. Most of the bacteria have not been mapped genetically, but a genome revolution is currently going on to establish the roles of bacteria and bacteria communities, added De Vos. The challenging part, the professor continued, is how to analyze the enormous sets of data using just one system approach in order to get a model of the bacteria communities which researchers can then improve on during experiments.

Doing this could eventually enable personal nutrition advice to be given based on gut bacteria. There is also a somewhat unappetizing treatment method for the stubbornly obese patient: the poop transplant, or - in nicer terms - the bacteria treatment. Research carried out by De Vos together with the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam has shown that such a transplant can have a curative effect in people prone to being obese.

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1 / 5 (1) Mar 18, 2011
OMFG. people are overweight because of their gut bacteria? So when someone changes their diet and stops eating junkfood, they don't lose weight because of the diet, they lose weight because of the change in bacteria? Don't shovel me this load of crap. You have to do more research than transferring some calorie laden microbes from one mouse to another.

Don't get me wrong, I think research into the relationship of the bacteria in our gut to our health is important and can affect us, but this conclusion is so obtuse I can't believe it...
not rated yet Mar 19, 2011
"So when someone changes their diet and stops eating junkfood, they don't lose weight because of the diet, they lose weight because of the change in bacteria?"

So you don't think your diet can affect your intestinal flora

"The authors base their viewpoint on tens of experimental studies carried out mostly on laboratory animals. These studies apparently show that the intestines of mice which suffer from obesity contain more bacteria types which efficiently convert indigestible food into manageable fatty acids."
not rated yet Mar 19, 2011
So when someone changes their diet and stops eating junkfood, they don't lose weight because of the diet, they lose weight because of the change in bacteria?
Two different issues.

There are some people who are obese and eat salads exclusively. This is merely another apporach to obesity. Poor diet, lack of exercise, those are the controllable vectors. If you have those under control and are still obese, it could be pituitary tumors, and according to this man's research, potentially an inbalace of gut bacteria.

It makes sense, as long as it doesn't become a fat cruch.
not rated yet Mar 19, 2011
so much is left unsaid .how can anyone be convinced ? after a lifetime of processed foods and indiscriminate antibiotics ? please, fat people have been abused enough . lets understand for the last century we Americans have been the guinea pigs (mice)for government, business, agriculture and pharmacology.
1 / 5 (1) Mar 21, 2011
fat people have been abused enough .

And now they are expected to eat skinny people's $#@%! LOL
not rated yet Mar 21, 2011
No one has broached the mode of gut flora delivery yet. First I'll just point out that "fecal bacteriotherapy" or "fecal flora replacement" actually has a long and justifiably hidden history. It can be used to treat many diseases such as C.difficile or other etiologies of infectious colitis.


The mode of delivery is oral (via catheter hopefully) delivery of someone else's crap to your gut. My understanding is that it is the overwhelming volume of crap and resident bacteria which cures. Hence pill and probiotics are useless.

Bon apetit!!

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