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Skinny People’s Gut Bacteria

I read up on something recently about bacteria, rats and skinny people. Thought I’d share it with you guys.

So apparently, according to a Harvard Medical School study, the bacteria in “skinny” people is different than that of people who are overweight. How did they come up with this exactly? The old fashion way. Take the gut bacteria of leaner twins and the gut bacteria of obese twins and stick them in some rats. The result was the rats who received the skinny twin bacterial mix grew to be leaner and the rats who received the obese twin bacterial mix grew to be fatter.  Gat damn. Additionally they concluded that this process is a one way street:

“in the presence of a low-fat diet, bacteria from a lean twin will take over the gut of a mouse that already had bacteria from a fat twin. The fat mouse then loses weight. But the opposite does not happen. No matter what the diet, bacteria from a fat mouse do not take over in a mouse that is thin.” – New York Times

Obviously, this is a super interesting finding, but more research should be conducted to find out (1) which of the bacteria in this gut cocktail are responsible for the weight differentials and (2) what about those bacteria make them prone to aiding in skinniness or fatness.

The study, headed by Dr. Gordon, decided to also investigate how the rats would react when given foods that are associated with “skinny” and “obese” diets. Would the gut bacteria affect the rats differently with these diets? Would it inhibit or facilitate weight loss?

“The fat mice that got food high in fat and low in fruits and vegetables kept the gut bacteria from the fat twins and remained fat. The thin twins’ gut bacteria took over only when the mice got pellets that were rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fat.”  – New York Times

So, once again, this raises more questions and more investigations are necessary to identify which bacteria are responsible and what’s so special about these bacteria.

I mean there are a lot of different bacteria that take residence in each person’s stomach, and that juicy bacterial cocktail varies from person to person. Generally speaking the flora in your gut are meant to work with you, not against you. Hence why you are encouraged to eat probiotics to assist in helping those little microbes flourish. But based on what you introduce to your stomach, sometimes that changes. It’s like messing with the natural ecosystem of you.

So sifting through the good and bad bacteria is important. Equally important, educating yourself on what makes your tummy happy and keeps your good flora healthy. :3

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