Gut bacteria's gender-specific impact on Obesity revealed

Wednesday 17th April 2024 07:05 EDT

Recent research indicates that gut bacteria may significantly contribute to the initiation and progression of obesity, exhibiting gender-specific differences. These variances potentially impact the metabolism of various nutrients, consequently affecting the presence of bioactive molecules in the gut. Such molecules are known to influence the development of metabolic disorders.

The findings were published in the journal 'European Association for the Study of Obesity.' The gut microbiota comprises a diverse community of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa, residing within the gastrointestinal tract. Imbalances within this community, known as dysbiosis, have a substantial impact on metabolic health and can contribute to the risk of various diseases, such as obesity. Nonetheless, it remains uncertain which specific species contribute to a higher or lower risk of obesity, as well as the extent of their influence on our metabolic well-being.

To delve deeper into this phenomenon, researchers analysed metagenomic and metabolomic data from a Spanish population. Their aim was to unravel the mechanisms through which these microorganisms contribute to the onset of obesity. Specifically, they scrutinised the faecal metabolome, which encompasses the wide array of metabolites produced by gut bacteria during the metabolism of food. These metabolites are shed in faeces and can enter the bloodstream, exerting an impact on health.

In total, the study included 361 adult volunteers, comprising 251 women and 110 men, with an average (median) age of 44 years old. These participants were selected from the Spanish Obekit study, a randomised trial investigating the correlation between genetic variations and the response to a hypocaloric diet.

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