Trillions of microbes in our gut play many very important roles in our body. This “microbiome” can not only regulate our metabolism and help us absorb nutrients from food, but it can also affect whether we are thin or obese.
Recent studies even show that our gut microbiota can affect our ability to lose weight. Researchers from the University of Washington in the United States have found that the presence of certain “good” microorganisms in the gut of people who are dieting for weight loss affects the weight they can lose.
In order to understand how a person’s gut microbes affect weight loss, the researchers surveyed 105 overweight people, all of whom participated in a one-year weight loss program. To track their weight loss, the researchers recorded the participants’ initial body mass index (BMI).
The scientists also recorded the levels of certain blood metabolism markers-such as cholesterol levels-to understand how easy it was for each participant to burn fat. Stool samples are collected at the beginning and end of the study to determine which microorganisms are present in each participant’s gut-and at what level.
The researchers then compared people who lost weight (an average of at least 1% weight loss per month) with those who maintained the same weight. They found that the various blood markers related to metabolism differed little between those who lost weight and those who did not lose weight.
But the real difference is the type of gut microbes that the two groups have. People who lose more weight have more beneficial bacterial enzymes in their intestines. These enzymes help break down complex carbohydrates (such as those found in whole grains) into simple sugars, making them easier to digest and less likely to store them as fat.
The author also found the growth of bacterial colonies-especially bacteria Prevoterra – Helps produce higher levels of healthy substances, such as short-chain fatty acids. As we all know, these substances can reduce inflammation, thereby helping to reduce weight.
We know from other studies that a person’s genes affect their risk of becoming obese-although there is no clear evidence that genes also affect the ability to lose weight. But this recent study showed us that when a person starts a diet, the types of bacteria in the intestine are more predictive of how much weight a person will lose than cholesterol and other substances related to a person’s ability to burn fat.
Although researchers have demonstrated this link between the gut microbiome and weight loss, we still don’t know much-including the need to validate these findings in a larger population to prove that these bacteria are actually related to weight loss. . Participants in the study also participated in a commercial weight loss program. This means that this group may not represent the general population, which is another reason for further research.
However, if these findings are confirmed, they may be very promising for people who wish to lose weight and maintain their weight, because a person’s gut microbiome can be modified—different from their genes. The next step will be to find out how people who want to lose weight can increase these specific fat-burning bacteria, either through a diet that contains probiotics and prebiotics, or through more advanced treatments, such as fecal microbiota transplantation-a form of Procedure for removing stool from healthy stool. The donor is placed in the patient’s body to replace the missing beneficial bacteria in the patient’s body.
Previous clinical trials have shown that certain types of bacteria present in probiotics contribute to weight loss. But these studies only measured a few bacteria used in probiotics. Researchers in this study tested all the bacteria present in a person’s gut-reinforcing the argument that gut microbes are critical to weight.