December 6, 2023

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Science breakthrough: Intestinal bacteria can prevent obesity!

Science breakthrough: Intestinal bacteria can prevent obesity!


Science breakthrough: Intestinal bacteria can prevent obesity!

Researchers at the University of Utah School of Health found that there is a specific type of bacteria in the intestines that can prevent mice from getting fat, indicating that these bacteria can also control human weight.

This beneficial bacteria is called Clostridia and is part of the microbial community-there are trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms in the intestine.

The study published in the journal Science shows that healthy mice have a large number of Clostridium spp These microorganisms will be lost.

Even if fed healthy food, mice will inevitably become fat. Returning these microorganisms to these animals can keep them slim.


Science breakthrough: intestinal bacteria can prevent obesity!Image source: Luat Nguyen, University of Utah Health


Dr. June Round is an associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah and the co-senior author of the study.

Assistant Professor W. Zac Stephens, Ph.D., is the leader of the study, and Dr. Charisse Petersen led the study.

Round said: “Now that we have discovered the bacteria that produce this weight loss effect, it is possible for us to truly understand what these microbes are doing and whether they have therapeutic value.”

The results of this study have pointed in this direction. Petersen and his colleagues discovered that Clostridium spp. prevents weight gain by blocking the ability of the intestine to absorb fat. In the experiment, Clostridium is the only bacteria in the intestines of mice.

Compared with mice without microbiota at all, mice with Clostridium are leaner and have less fat. They also have lower levels of the CD36 gene, which controls the body’s absorption of fatty acids.

Round said these findings may lead to a treatment that has advantages over fecal transplants and probiotics-currently being widely studied as a way to restore a healthy microbiome.

The treatment based on the transfer of living flora to the intestine is not suitable for everyone, because different diets and other factors affect which bacteria can survive and reproduce.

Current research has found that one or more molecules produced by Clostridium spp prevents the intestinal tract from absorbing fat.

The next step is to isolate these molecules and further determine how they work to determine whether they can trigger intensive treatments for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other related metabolic disorders.

Petersen said: “These bacteria have evolved to live with us and benefit us. We have a lot to learn from them.”




Good defense is the best offense


The discovery that mice with impaired immune systems become obese is an almost useless discovery.

By chance, Petersen entered the laboratory at the right time and found that genetic engineering had caused mice lacking myd88 to be “fat like pancakes.” myd88 is the core gene of immune response.

She allowed these rodents to age longer than usual, revealing the unrecognized link between immunity and obesity.

Nevertheless, this observation does not answer the question of why these animals become overweight.

Based on her previous research in the Round laboratory, she suspected it was related to microorganisms.

She helped prove that one role of the immune system is to maintain the balance between various bacteria in the intestine. Weakening the body’s defenses can cause certain types of bacteria to control others.

Sometimes this shift can have a negative impact on health.

Following a similar logic, Petersen and his colleagues determined that the obesity observed in immune-compromised mice was due to the body’s defense system being unable to correctly recognize bacteria.

These mice produce fewer antibodies, and these antibodies are usually attached to the microbiota, like a homing missile.

This change makes the intestine less suitable for Clostridium, leading to more fat absorption and excessive weight gain. Over time, the mice also developed symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Round pointed out that other studies have shown that obese people also lack clostridia, which is similar to the situation in these mice.

There are also some signs that the immune response of obese or type 2 diabetes patients may be poor.

It is hoped that understanding these connections will provide new insights into the prevention and treatment of these prevalent health conditions.

“We inadvertently discovered a relatively unexplored aspect of type 2 diabetes and obesity,” Round said. “This work will open new research to study how the immune response regulates the microbiota and metabolic diseases.”





C. Petersen el al., “T cell-mediated regulation of the microbiota protects against obesity,Science (2019). DOI:10.1126/science.aat9351

Science breakthrough: intestinal bacteria can prevent obesity!

(source:internet, reference only)

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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.