Ok, so it doesn’t roll off the tongue like ‘it’s my genes,’ but a new study is linking gut bacteria and how heavy a person is. This essentially builds on the premise that it’s your genes that affect how much you weigh.
Genetic markers are what determine what type and how much bacteria resides in your gut. Still doesn’t answer if I’m genetically predisposed to Krispy Kreme, but I’ll take it.
The study, published in journal Cell, is a bit gross in how they studied the bacteria. Researchers from King’s College London looked at over 1,000 fecal samples taken from 416 pairs of twins who were part of Twins UK data registry. Talk about big brother.
So, let’s talk results. Researchers were able to determine a certain type of bacteria was more common with people with low body weight. Christensenellaceae minuta is the suspect, and upon introducing this strain into mice, the animals gained less weight than those that didn’t receive the bacteria.
I sense a cottage industry popping up of probiotics being sold online. You can count on small supplement firms jumping on this quickly. The research suggest that increasing the level of the bacteria strain could help reduce or even prevent obesity. It’s a lofty goal, and will undoubtedly take more research.
“Our findings show that specific groups of microbes living in our gut could be protective against obesity – and that their abundance is influenced by our genes. The human microbiome represents an exciting new target for dietary changes and treatments aimed at combating obesity.”
Study authors note that this is the first study to point out that gut bacteria is both heritable and levels of the bacteria is not influenced by outside forces such as environment, diet, health and lifestyle choices.
Checking trusty Google, I’m not seeing a probiotic on the market with Christensenellaceae minuta. You can bet on that changing with this new study.