Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intestinal flora determines health of obese people

Date:
August 28, 2013
Source:
VIB
Summary:
Scientists have shown that there is a link between richness of bacterial species in the intestines and the susceptibility for medical complications related to obesity. The researchers demonstrated that people with fewer bacterial species in their intestines are more likely to develop complications, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. A flora with decreased bacterial richness appears to function entirely differently to the healthy variety with greater diversity.

Scientists have compared the human gut and its bacteria with a tropical rainforest. They explain that we need as much diversity as possible, and -- as is the case with the natural tropical rainforests -- decreasing diversity is a cause for concern. It appears that the richer and more diverse the composition of our intestinal bacteria, the stronger our health.
Credit: © CLIPAREA.com / Fotolia

New research shows that there is a link between richness of bacterial species in the intestines and the susceptibility to medical complications related to obesity. Researchers demonstrated that people with fewer bacterial species in their intestines are more likely to develop complications, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. A flora with decreased bacterial richness appears to function entirely differently to the healthy variety with greater diversity.

Related Articles


The international consortium MetaHIT, which includes the research group of Jeroen Raes (VIB/Vrije Universiteit Brussel) were involved with the research. Jeroen Raes (VIB/VUB) said, "This is an amazing result with possibly enormous implications for the treatment and even prevention of the greatest public health issue of our time. But we are not there yet, now we need studies in which we can monitor people for a longer period. We want to perform these types of long-term studies together with the "Vlaams Darmflora Project" (Flemish Gut Flora Project), which is only possible thanks to the selfless efforts of thousands of Flemish residents."

Obesity, a health problem

Metabolic conditions have become an epidemic partly due to the modern lifestyle without a lot of exercise and easy access to (a lot of) energy-dense food. It is expected that obesity will increase tremendously all over the world; from 400 million obese people in 2005, to more than 700 million in 2015. A trend that will persist at least until 2030. Some people appear to be more sensitive to obesity than others. Many studies over the years have examined the possible cause of this.

Bacterial richness in your intestines is associated with susceptibility to obesity

Over the last years it has become very clear that there is a link between the bacterial population in our intestines and our health. As a result, scientists also started studying the link between obesity and intestinal flora. An international consortium, including the VIB scientists Falk Hildebrand, Gwen Falony and Jeroen Raes in Brussels, examined the intestinal flora of 169 obese Danes and 123 non-obese Danes.

Jeroen Raes: "We were able to distinguish between two groups based on their intestinal flora: people with a large richness of bacterial species in their intestines and people with a few less bacterial species. A species-rich bacterial flora appeared to function differently compared to the poorer variety. It was surprising to see that obese and non-obese people were found in both groups."

The scientists did see that the group with lower species richness in the intestinal flora was more susceptible to developing obesity-related conditions and chronic inflammation. The obese people in this group are more at risk of cardiovascular conditions than the obese people in the other group. These are important results that suggest that it is not only weight gain and dietary habits that play a role in the development of medical complications in obese people.

The Flemish Gut Flora Project

The question that remains is whether these results also translate to other countries and populations. Therefore, Jeroen Raes has established the Flemish Intestinal Flora Project to follow up on these types of studies on a larger scale. Such efforts are crucial to confirm the insights acquired in smaller studies and to make an effective step towards improved treatments and medicines.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emmanuelle Le Chatelier, Trine Nielsen, Junjie Qin, Edi Prifti, Falk Hildebrand, Gwen Falony, Mathieu Almeida, Manimozhiyan Arumugam, Jean-Michel Batto, Sean Kennedy, Pierre Leonard, Junhua Li, Kristoffer Burgdorf, Niels Grarup, Torben Jψrgensen, Ivan Brandslund, Henrik Bjψrn Nielsen, Agnieszka S. Juncker, Marcelo Bertalan, Florence Levenez, Nicolas Pons, Simon Rasmussen, Shinichi Sunagawa, Julien Tap, Sebastian Tims et al. Richness of human gut microbiome correlates with metabolic markers. Nature, 2013 DOI: 10.1038/nature12506

Cite This Page:

VIB. "Intestinal flora determines health of obese people." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130828131932.htm>.
VIB. (2013, August 28). Intestinal flora determines health of obese people. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130828131932.htm
VIB. "Intestinal flora determines health of obese people." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130828131932.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins