New study shows gut bacteria is a factor in weight loss

The new study shows that certain types of bacteria may help weight loss or weight gain.


NSFW    ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA — A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows certain types of bacteria in our gut may influence weight loss and weight gain.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota found that those who were successful in losing weight had an abundance of a bacteria called Phascolarctobacterium in their gut, while those who weren't had an abundance of bacteria named Dialister.

Gut bacteria is important as it breaks down food parts we can't normally digest.

When this occurs, the bacteria creates "extra calories" for our body to digest, which results in a calorie boost.

The study was conducted with 26 participants who were overweight and obese, and going through lifestyle changes.

The participants were tracked for three months, during which they had to follow a low-calorie diet and were encouraged to walk 10,000 steps a day.

The team of researchers collected fecal samples from the participants to find out which bacteria their body's digestive system contained.

Purna Kashyap, a researcher involved in the study, explained to NPR that "people who lost at least 5 percent of their body weight had a different gut bacteria compared to those who did not lose 5 percent of their body weight."

The bacteria Phascolarctobacterium had previously been associated with weight gain in a study involving obese rats.

The Mayo researchers said their study suggests Phascolarctobacterium may increase the effects of lifestyle and dietary changes on weight loss.

However, Kashyap added that there might be other types of bacteria that may influence dieting as well.
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