Obesity May Be Caused by Bacteria

The Journal of Proteome Research has published the results of a new research: the bacteria that live in the colon may play an important role in obesity, slowing down the activity of brown fat burning process.

Obese Man

Brown fat is responsible for the processes of thermoregulation in the body. Converting calories into heat, it can burn even white fat. Recent studies show that white fat is observed mainly in overweight adult males, and brown fat is observed in young women.

The scientists from Imperial College London and Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne conducted a series of experiments with mice. One group of rodents had a normal intestinal microflora, the other group had no bacteria in the colon. The brown fat of “sterile” mice appeared to be more active and burned calories faster. In addition, the gender issue of weight gain made itself slear: he-mice with a normal microflora gained weight faster than she-mice. The researchers believe that gut bacteria contribute to improper fermentation of carbohydrates: instead of removing them undigested, our body processes and assimilates them. When bacteria are absent, a number of metabolic processes are disrupted, and the burning of calories (lipolysis) takes place in brown adipose tissue and liver.

Perhaps this discovery will help to create new ways to combat obesity, based on the activation of metabolic processes with the participation of brown fat.