Coyoty (coyoty) wrote,

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Do these germs make me look fat?

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered a link between obesity and the type of digestive microbes obese people have in their stomachs.  They found that obese people had a greater population of the more efficient Firmicutes, which extract much more calories from food than the other types.  They don't know yet whether people are fatter because they have more Firmicutes, or if they have more Firmicutes because people are fatter.  If the former, then weight might be controlled by regulating the bacteria populations in the body.  They are trying to identify whether there is some food additive or other factor that has increased the Firmicutes populations, leading to the current epidemic of obesity in the U.S.  Not mentioned in the Hartford Courant article is the possibility of whether Firmucutes can be passed to other people.  The researchers speculate that increasing the Firmicutes population in poorer areas might help fight hunger-- er, low food security.,0,6783685.story?coll=hc-headlines-health

Tags: microbes, obesity, weight

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