Why do some people gain weight faster than others with the same diet? Scientists finally have the answer.
Scientists from the University of Copenhagen have discovered that the gut microbiome of around 40% of individuals allows them to extract more energy from food, leading to weight gain.
In a study involving 85 Danish subjects, the researchers analyzed stool samples to determine the efficiency of gut microbes in extracting energy from food. They found that those with a microbiome dominated by Bacteroides bacteria weighed an average of nine kilograms more than those in the control group.
The researchers of the study suspect that a portion of the population may have a disadvantage due to their gut bacteria being highly efficient at extracting energy from food, potentially leading to more calories being available for the human host from the same amount of food consumed. This can be a major contributor to obesity.
This discovery is supported by previous studies in mice, which showed that germ-free mice who received gut microbes from obese donors gained more weight compared to mice that received gut microbes from lean donors, despite being fed the same diet.
These findings suggest that an individual’s weight is not solely influenced by their lifestyle, but also by the composition of their microbiome.
This research highlights the importance of understanding the role of gut microbes in weight regulation and suggests that targeting the gut microbiome may be a potential strategy for preventing or managing obesity. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind this association and to determine the most effective approaches for manipulating the gut microbiome to promote weight loss or maintenance.
Some ways to maintain a healthy weight could involve making dietary changes to support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, such as consuming fermented foods or taking probiotics and having healthy lifestyle habits. While the gut microbiome may play a role in weight regulation, it is also important to maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity to support overall health and weight management.