Gut Bacteria May Be Linked to Body Fat

By: Mark Lange, PhD

Researchers from King’s College London, Cornell University, University of Colorado and Max Planck Institute published in the peer-reviewed journal, Genome Biology, a study comparing body fat composition to bacteria found in human feces.  Data was collected from 3,666 twins, average age 63. They looked at the link between bacteria found in feces and six different measure of body fat.

Researchers found the less diverse the bacteria, the more likely participants were to have more visceral fat.  Visceral fat is found around the internal organs and is a risk factor for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.  The senior author said, “There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that gut bacteria may play a role in obesity, and a number of studies are now exploring this in more detail.”