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Monday, September 24, 2012

In The Future Weight May Be Managed By Manipulating The Microbiome

Vaccines and antibiotics may someday join caloric restriction or bariatric surgery as a way to regulate weight gain, according to a new study focused on the interactions between diet, the bacteria that live in the bowel, and the immune system.

Bacteria in the intestine play a crucial role in digestion. They provide enzymes necessary for the uptake of many nutrients, synthesize certain vitamins and boost absorption of energy from food.

Fifty years ago, farmers learned that by tweaking the microbial mix in their livestock with low-dose oral antibiotics, they could accelerate weight gain. More recently, scientists found that mice raised in a germ-free environment, and thus lacking gut microbes, do not put on extra weight, even on a high-fat diet.
Unless you control the mictobiome with laxatives.

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