Further to my earlier post on the Digital Journal: bacteria and obesity, research has shown that intestinal bacteria populations differ between the obese and the lean in humans. More recent studies, using mice, have shown that increased appetite and insulin resistance can be transferred by intestinal bacteria from one mouse to another. This indicates that the presence of the intestinal bacterial contributes to changes in both appetite and metabolism.
Such research has indicated that the components of gut flora can alter the ability of the intestines to extract calories from food.
Quoted on Time, Andrew Gewirtz, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, said “our results suggest that excess calorific consumption is not only a result of undisciplined eating but that intestinal bacteria contribute to changes in appetite and metabolism”.
The studiescould open new doors into understanding the myriad ways that pathogens like bacteria can cause disease.