We’re getting closer to understanding how gut microbes cause obesity

gut

Medical experts have uncovered a chemical that connects the tiny creatures that call our guts home (gut microbes) to our body’s fat levels.

“We now have a biological mechanism that gives a starting point for understanding our microbiome as a relationship between our diet and our body composition,” said Dean Jones of Emory University.

Recent research suggests that leanness or weight gain may be contagious due to the transmission of certain microorganisms.

In modern times, the growth of the obesity epidemic has coincided with huge changes in our gut microbiomes. Obesity, with its accompanying health issues such as heart disease and diabetes, is a complex disorder involving the interaction of our genes, environment, and diet, as well as the composition of our microbiome.

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Because studies have shown that 10% of circulating metabolic compounds in mice may be linked back to their microbiome, molecular biologist Ken Liu and colleagues chose to dig deeper into these chemicals.

Studies have shown that 10% of circulating metabolic compounds in mice can be linked to their microbiome, molecular biologist Ken Liu and colleagues chose to investigate these chemicals further.

Delta-valerobetaine was found in mice exposed to microbes but not in microbiome-free animals bred and kept in pristine conditions as a control group. Delta-valerobetaine reduced carnitine levels in cell cultures, according to the researchers.

Vanderbilt University nutrigenomicist Jane Ferguson noted, “Delta-valerobetaine may thus have both beneficial and harmful impacts on host health.”

The sensitivity of mammalian bodies to delta-valerobetaine, according to Liu, may have developed as a strategy to encourage fat storage during times when food was limited.

“This type of data could potentially aid someone in developing a customised weight-loss regimen,” Liu added. “However, there are a number of aspects of delta-function valerobetaine’s in context that we need to learn more about.”

Their research was published in Nature Metabolism.

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