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Germs in intestines could be linked to obesity

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A new study has been conducted to determine the link between bacteria and obesity. After previous studies had shown that healthy people had different amounts and types of microbes in their intestines than overweight people, scientists have decided to research this.

Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, one of the senior authors of the study, said in a press release: “It has been assumed that the obesity epidemic in the developed world is driven by an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and the abundance of low-cost, high-calorie foods. However, our results suggest that excess caloric consumption is not only a result of undisciplined eating but that intestinal bacteria contribute to changes in appetite and metabolism.”

So maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves the next time we notice we’ve gained weight, as bacteria in the gut maybe to blame for it.

“People are getting obese because they’re eating more, but it suggests the reason they’re eating more may not simply be that calories are cheap and available,” the Associated Press reports Gewirtz as saying. “The reason they’re eating more may be an increased appetite resulting from changes in intestinal bacteria.”

These bacteria can cause inflammation, which can also lead to issues like colitis or Crohn’s disease, Business Week reports.

According to the Daily Mail, researchers tested mice that were genetically engineered to be prone to intestinal bacterial infections, which were, after being fed fatty food, found to gain weight rapidly and also suffered fatty liver disease. The bacteria from these mice were then transferred to healthy mice, which then also gained weight quickly.

Celebrities who suffer from Crohn’s disease include Anastacia and Shannen Doherty.

Celebrities who have battled obesity inlcude Oprah Winfrey, Sharon Osbourne andKirstie Alley.

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Intestine_and_stomach_-_transparent_-_cut.png; Author: Mikael Häggströmm

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