An article published online on August 28, 2013 in the journal Nature reports an association between gut bacterial “richness” and protection against obesity.The current research compared the gut bacterial genes of 169 obese and 123 nonobese Danish men and women. It was discovered that approximately one-fourth of the participants had up to 40% fewer gut bacterial genes than the remainder of the study population and correspondingly fewer bacteria.This group also had less bacterial diversity.
Subjects with low bacterial richness were significantly likely to have more adiposity or to be obese, and to have gained more weight over the previous nine years. They were also more insulin resistant, more likely to have high cholesterol, and had an increase in markers of inflammation and white blood cells, indicating a greater risk for diabetes or heart disease.
The research team identified eight bacterial species as possibly preventive against weight gain. The findings could lead to new therapies for obesity or the development of diagnostic tests to identify those at risk of diseases linked to gut microbiome alterations.
In another article appearing on August 28 in Nature, reported that a low fat diet improved microbial gene richness, in both diversity and numbers. “This indicates that you can repair some of the damage to your gut bacteria simply by changing your dietary habits,” “Our intestinal bacteria are actually to be considered an organ just like our heart and brain, and the presence of health-promoting bacteria must therefore be cared for in the best way possible.