The breakthrough suggests foods that stimulate the production of the bacteria in the digestive system could help burn off pounds quicker than by eating less or exercising more.
A study found that the levels of gut bacteria Akkermansia muciniphila were compromised in obese and type-2 diabetic mice.
Scientists discovered that probiotics - fibres found in foods such as bananas - helped maintain gut bacteria that boost a person's metabolism
This in turn led to a faster metabolism which helped the lab rodents shed weight. They also suffered less inflammation and lowered their insulin resistance, a symptom of type 2 diabetes.
The amount of chemicals called endocannabinoids that control glucose also rose, according to the findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.