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How diet affects the gut flora – hospital germs play an important role in weight loss

Bacteria as a slimming agent: a low-calorie diet alters the composition of the intestinal flora in favor of microorganisms that promote greater weight loss. This positive effect can even be attributed to fecal transmission, as researchers reported in the specialized journal “Nature”. Clostridioides difficile, better known as hospital germs, appears to be one of the bacteria that has a slimming effect.

The gut microbiome It plays an important role in our health. Among other things, trillions of microorganisms affect our appetite and determine how well we can utilize nutrients. so fucking jojo effect Following a diet, it is more likely to be closely related to the gut microbiome. The bacteria that are secreted in our intestines depend in part on our gut genetic makeup From, the composition of the bacterial community is very flexible and can be altered by dietary changes, diet or Link Effect.

Changes in the microbiome

A team led by Rainer Jumpertz von Schwarzenberg of the Charité Universität Medicine Berlin has now investigated how a low-calorie diet affects the intestinal flora – and how this in turn contributes to weight loss. “We have been able to show for the first time how a very low-calorie diet profoundly alters the composition of the gut microbiota, thus having a lasting effect on the energy balance of the human host,” says Gambertz of the Schwarzenberg Fellow. Joachim Springer.

The team examined the effects of dieting on 80 elderly women with slight to severe overweight, who either lost weight by so-called dieting — with the help of ready-made beverages at less than 800 calories per day — under medical supervision or maintained their weight stable for 16 weeks. . At the start, during and after the diet, the researchers analyzed the test subjects’ intestinal flora using stool samples.

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“We were able to observe how the bacteria alter their metabolism in order to absorb more sugar compounds that are then no longer available to humans. You could say that a hungry microbiome is evolving”, describes Jumpertz von Schwarzenberg. The diet also reduces the total number of microorganisms in the gut.

Food excrement makes mice lose weight

On average, people from the diet group lost 12.5 kilograms within twelve weeks. To test how changes in gut microbiota affect weight loss, the researchers transferred stool samples from test subjects before and after the diet to mice that remained germ-free and thus did not have their own gut flora.

The result: the animals that had faeces removed after the diet lost more than ten percent of their body weight in just two days. Over the next three weeks, the weight stabilized at a lower level and the mice showed no signs of disease. In contrast, no significant changes in weight were found in the rats that received the cultured stools from the diet.

“Our results show that this phenomenon can be explained mainly by a change in food absorption in the animals’ gut,” Spranger explains. Although all mice ate similar amounts of calories, those with the post-diet microbiome excreted more unused calories. “This confirms that gut bacteria have a significant impact on food absorption,” says Spranger.

Hospital germs as an aid to weight loss?

Analyzes of bacteria in the stools of test subjects and mice showed that the diet promoted the multiplication of Clostridioides difficile. The bacteria is known as hospital germs and can cause severe inflammation of the intestinal wall, but it is also found in healthy people and animals. “We were also able to demonstrate that Clostridium difficile produces toxins typical of bacteria – even weight loss for animals depends on it,” Spranger explains. “However, neither the test subjects nor the animals showed clinical signs of gastroenteritis.”

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It is not yet clear to what extent asymptomatic colonization with Clostridium difficile can harm or even enhance health. “This must now be investigated in larger studies,” Spranger says. The findings could lead to new treatment options for metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. (Nature, 2021, doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03663-4)

Source: Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin