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Research discovers gut microbe with potential to combat obesity

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 10 months ago

A recent study published in Nature suggests that certain gut bacteria may hold the key to new treatments for obesity and diabetes. The research, conducted by Hiroshi Ohno and his team at the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in Japan, analyzed fecal samples from over 300 adults and found that individuals with higher insulin resistance had a higher prevalence of certain bacteria in their gut.

Insulin resistance, a condition in which the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, can lead to weight gain, prediabetes, and eventually type 2 diabetes. The researchers discovered that individuals with higher insulin resistance had gut microbiomes dominated by a type of bacteria called Lachnospiraceae, while those with lower insulin resistance had higher levels of Bacteroidales bacteria.

To test the potential of these bacteria as treatments, the researchers grew them in a lab and administered them to obese mice. They found that one particular species of Bacteroidales called Alistipes indistinctus showed promising results, lowering blood sugar levels and improving insulin resistance in the mice.

While these findings are exciting, it is important to note that further research is needed before any probiotic treatments can be recommended for humans. The study's lead researcher, Hiroshi Ohno, emphasized the need for human clinical trials to verify the results.

This study adds to our growing understanding of the gut microbiome and its impact on our health. Fecal transplants, which involve transferring healthy bacteria from donors into sick individuals, have already been used to treat infections like C. difficile. Researchers are now exploring the potential of using gut bacteria to treat conditions such as obesity, Crohn's disease, and allergies. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first fecal pill targeting the microbiome, further expanding access to this type of treatment.

In conclusion, the recent study on gut bacteria and its potential for treating obesity and diabetes is a significant development in the field of medical research. While the findings are promising, more research is needed before any probiotic treatments can be recommended for human use. The study underscores the importance of the gut microbiome in our overall health and opens up new avenues for future therapies and diagnostic tools.

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