There’s A Link Between Gut Bacteria and Obesity You Need To Know About
According to new research from Lund University in Sweden, there is a link between your gut bacteria and obesity; Certain amino acids in our blood can be connected to both obesity and the composition of the gut microbiome. Here’s what that means.
What is Gut Bacteria?
The human gut is home to vast colonies of bacteria, called gut microbiota. A balance of bacteria in the gut is important, as it supports proper digestion and overall health. Naturally present in the body, bacteria accounts for two pounds of bio-mass in your intestines, which needs a balance of beneficial bacteria to promote good health. This is where Probiotics come in.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that make up the microbiome of your gut and digestive tract and are the key to good health, especially for good digestion and regularity. But levels of Probiotics decrease with age and can be impacted by factors like a poor diet and obesity. As levels decrease, problematic bacteria in the gut thrive and can lead to digestive problems like bloating and gas, and even impact your overall health.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
While previous studies have shown that individuals with diseases like obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes have various occurrences of different metabolites in the blood stream, the aim of this new study was to identify metabolites in the blood that can be linked to obesity like high body mass index (BMI) in order to investigate whether these obesity-related metabolites affect the composition of the bacterial flora in stool samples. Metabolites are substances that are essential to metabolism.
Blood and stool samples of the 674 participants were analyzed. They found 19 different metabolites that could be linked to a person’s BMI ; glutamate and BCAA (branded-chain and aromatic amino acids) had the strongest connection to obesity. They also found that obesity-related metabolites were liked to four different intestinal bacteria.
Marju Orho-Melander, professor of genetic epidemiology at Lund University, reports, “The differences in BMI were largely explained by the differences in the levels of glutamate and BCAA. This indicates that the metabolites and gut bacteria interact, rather than being independent of each other. This means that future studies should focus more on how the composition of gut bacteria can be modified to reduce the risk of obesity and associated metabolic diseases and cardiovascular disease.”