Correlation between obesity and gut bacteria

A new link exists between gut bacteria and obesity according to a latest research study conducted at Lund University in Sweden. In this research study, it was found that certain amino acids, which were present in our blood, were associated with both obesity and composition of gut microbiome. The significance of gut bacteria is not completely understood till date.

Many research studies have been conducted on animals, but the findings of these studies may not be applicable to human beings. Gut flora of a healthy person may not necessarily be compatible with another person.Several research studies have reported that gut microbiota plays an important role in maintaining the overall health of patients.

Gut microbiota governs the metabolism of humans, and it is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Previous studies have reported that the occurrence of different metabolites, i.e. small molecules or metabolic residues, varies in the bloodstream of people with these diseases.

The main aim of this new study was to identify metabolites in blood, which were linked with obesity (high body mass index, BMI). These studies had to determine whether these metabolites would affect the composition of bacterial flora in stool samples.

Researchers analyzed blood plasma and stool samples of 674 participants. They identified 19 different metabolites, which were linked with the BMI of person. There was a strong connection between obesity and following chemical compounds: glutamate and BCAA (branched-chain and aromatic amino acids).

Obesity-related metabolites were strongly linked with four different intestinal bacteria: blautia, dorea and ruminococcus in Lachnospiraceae family, and SHA98. The differences between BMI were largely associated with differences in glutamate levels and BCAA. There were interactions between metabolites and gut bacteria, but these interactions were not dependent on each other.

Glutamate is the strongest risk factor for obesity. This finding was compliant with the findings of previous studies. Moreover, BCAA predicts the onset of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in near future.

Future studies have focused on how composition of gut bacteria could be modified, reducing the risk of obesity, metabolic diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. A proper understanding of a healthy normal gut flora is required to determine the factors that affect bacterial composition. Large population studies and intervention studies must be conducted for this purpose.


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