BUGS AND FAT
ANCHOR LEAD : COULD THE BACTERIA THAT RESIDE IN YOUR GUT BE MAKING YOU FAT? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
People who are overweight have a reversed ratio of two particular bacterial residents of the gut, in comparison to their lean counterparts. The overweight folks had more of a type of bug that extracts more calories from food, offering one more tantalizing clue in the complex web of what makes people overweight or obese. Steve Solga, a gut flora researcher at Johns Hopkins, comments.
SOLGA: I think it’s really very exciting. To me the article is more about gut flora than it is about obesity. The gut flora are very misunderstood and difficult to study, and really represent yet another frontier in medicine that is wide open. There are 10 times as many bacteria that inhabit our gut as there are human cells in our body. The gut flora no doubt respond to things that we eat. The interactions between all these bacteria and ourselves remains mysterious. :30
Solga says it’s still too early to try modifying gut flora to affect weight but that day may come. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.