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Summary: The composition of gut bacteria can determine whether a person is fat or thin. Scientists found human twins (1 fat twin and 1 lean twin), transplanted their gut bacteria into twin mice and found that the mice that got the fat twin’s bacteria became fat while the others with the lean twin’s bacteria stayed lean. Further experiments showed that in a fecal transplant from lean to obese mice, when fed a healthy diet, lean bacteria took over obese mice’s guts. This resulted in weight loss and correction of metabolic changes that are associated with obesity.

Scientists want to find which bacteria specifically determine weight but they also speculate that the composition of gut bacteria may be the result of obesity instead of the cause of it.

Think About:
1. What are the next steps scientists can take?
2. How will weight loss centers treat this scientific discovery?
3. Will fecal transplants become normal, and if so, how will biopharmaceutical companies react?

Original Article, For More Information: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/health/gut-bacteria-from-thin-humans-can-slim-mice-down.html?pagewanted=1&ref=health

 

Photo: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/09/04/218932421/how-a-change-in-gut-microbes-can-affect-weight