Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Intestinal Bacteria May Explain Obesity

More research into the bacteria in our guts, and more interesting findings.

The researchers found mice whose guts were inoculated with just the bacterium Beta thetaiotaomicron (B. theta) could process rodent food better than mice that were given no bacteria.

A second group of mice were inoculated with a combination of B. theta and an archaeon called Methanobrevibacter smithii (M. smithii). Those rodents could extract many more calories from the same amount of food, but they stored the extra energy as excess fat.

The researchers haven't yet concluded whether obese people have more M. smithii in their intestines. But Blaser said he believes scientists could eventually help control human nutrition by manipulating the types of microbes living in the gut.

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