The Plain Truth

The Plain Truth
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Gut Bacteria From Thin Humans Can Slim Mice Down

The trillions of bacteria that live in the gut — helping digest foods, making some vitamins, making amino acids — may help determine if a person is fat or thin.
Dan Gill for The New York Times
Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon, left, and Vanessa K. Ridaura are two members of a scientific team whose research shows a connection between human gut bacteria and obesity. 

The evidence is from a novel experiment involving mice and humans that is part of a growing fascination with gut bacteria and their role in health and diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. In this case, the focus was on obesity. Researchers found pairs of human twins in which one was obese and the other lean. They transferred gut bacteria from these twins into mice and watched what happened. The mice with bacteria from fat twins grew fat; those that got bacteria from lean twins stayed lean. 

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