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Secret to body fat is inside you: Infecto-obesity
Let us start on a cheerful note. There is an old saying, all sickness begins in gut. Obesity is no exception. And it is not just related to imbalance between ingestion of excess food and calorie expenditure. And of course obesity cuts down your life span also.
Now that you may have packed some extra-pounds during the holidays, you may be feeling guilty since taking them off is usually not that easy. Worry not! If you can't take them off, it may not be entirely your fault. Even viral infections have been implicated. According to two articles reported in the prestigious journal Nature , the gut bacteria may be playing an important role.
Obesity alters the ecology of the trillions of bacteria present in the gut. Dr. Turnbaugh and colleagues from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri studied the intestinal bacteria of lean and obese mice as well as humans.
There is an alteration in relative dominance of two types of bacteria (Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes) in the gut of obese persons. For example, the relative proportion of Bacteroidetes is decreased in obese people as compared to their lean counterparts. This relative proportion increases with weight loss on low-calorie diet.
This altered bacterial flora results in the alteration of bacterial metabolism. For example, bacterial flora in obese facilitates extraction of greater amount of energy from the diet. Data also showed that it might not be a static phenomenon. For example, the transfer of the "obese" bacterial flora to the lean animals results in induction of obesity in the lean ones!
Above findings in no way diminish the fact that obesity is directly related to the net balance between in amount of calories ingested and the calories consumed by the body as energy expenditure. It just means that the pathogenesis of obesity has a bacterial component.
Do you have a weight problem? Do you have difficulty taking off excess body weight? Have you been on yo-yo diet? Your thoughts are welcome.