Gut Bacteria May Determine Dieting Efficiency – CME Teaching Brief® – MedPage Today

Gut Bacteria May Determine Dieting Efficiency – CME Teaching Brief® – MedPage Today
Gut Bacteria May Determine Dieting Efficiency

By Neil Osterweil, Senior Associate Editor, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
December 21, 2006

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 21 — Bacteria in the gut may be arbiters of weight loss or gain, according to a revolutionary theory proposed by researchers here.

The way it works, said Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D., of Washington University, and colleagues, is that when an overweight person goes on a diet, one group of efficient bacteria moves out of the gut and another less-efficient group moves in to fill the void.

This finding suggested that manipulation of intestinal microbes might some day be used to treat obesity, they reported in the Dec. 21 issue of Nature.