John Hopkins Study Links Obesity and Gut Bacteria

Researchers at Johns Hopkins recently conducted a study about obesity in mice and the results are quite interesting. As it turns out, the microbes found in the intestines has a much larger effect on obesity and insulin resistance in mammals including human beings.

The researchers found that by controlling the levels of gut bacteria as well as making modifications to the actions of the genes responsible for controlling metabolism, it is possible to prevent the growing problem of obesity as well as diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is a known risk factor for various diseases related to obesity, like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Researchers came to their conclusion after running a series of experiments for 21 weeks on normal mice as well as mice they genetically modified to lack a protein responsible for activating inflammation after receiving specific chemical signals known as TLR4. They found out that those that lacked TLRF showed symptoms of various conditions linked to metabolic syndrome. This included a huge increase in weight, insulin resistance, and an increase in body fat and liver fat.

The study suggests that modifying or manipulating bacterial levels can help prevent the development of what's referred to as metabolic syndrome.

In another recent development of a study of gut bacteria, the Mayo Clinic also found that gut bacteria play key roles in a lot of diseases. This includes rheumatoid arthritis where certain gut microbes were much more prevalent in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis compared to relatively healthy individuals.

If there's one key takeaway from all of it, is that it may be possible for doctors to find out soon if an individual is at risk for certain diseases from the levels of certain gut bacteria in their bodies.

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