Human/mouse study links gut bacteria to weight gain and metabolic disorders 09/09/2013
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain a healthful balance of microbes (microflora) in the intestines, and generally benefit their host.
The average person's digestive tract hosts about 400 kinds of probiotic bacteria, which help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and promote healthy digestion.
Lactic acid bacteria – such as L. acidophilus and other lactobacillus – are the largest single class of probiotics in a normal, healthy human digestive tract.
Lactobacillus are often given to patients following a course of antibiotics, and are also found in yogurt and most other cultured/fermented foods.
Mice given “lean microbes” stayed lean and healthy.
Mice given “obesity microbes” gained weight and displayed the donor's metabolic dysfunctions, such as insulin resistance.
- Healthy human diet, low in saturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables.
- Unhealthy human diet, high in saturated fat and low in fruits and vegetables.
- Lean microbes took hold in mice fed a healthy diet, which prevented weight and metabolic problems.
- Lean microbes did not take hold in mice fed an unhealthful diet, and the animals proceeded to gain weight and fat and develop metabolic problems.
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