Gut Bacteria from Humans can Slim Mice

Trillions of bacteria that live in the gut and help digest foods and make some vitamins in the body, may help determine if a person is fat or thin.

A new novel experience is part of a growing fascination with gut bacteria and their role in health like irritable bowel syndrome and crohn’s disease. Researchers found that pairs of human twins in which one was obese and the other lean. The scientists transferred the gut bacteria from these twins into mice and watched what happened.

The researchers found that the gut bacteria transferred into the mice from the lean person helped the mice themselves become lean. In addition, the mice with bacteria from the fat twins grew fat.

The study was published Thursday in the online version of Science. Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier called the study “pretty striking”. Flier, an obesity researcher and dean of the Harvard Medical School, was not involved in the study, but called it a very powerful set of experiments.

Other scientists, included Michael Fischbach, Jeffrey Gordon and Vanessa K. Ridaura, all expressed excitement about these studies as gut bacteria have recently become a hot topic in the gastrointestinal medicines and nutrition and diet. Although researchers suspected that gut bacteria might play a role in obesity, it’s been difficult to find convincing evidence. Now, with the preliminary studies done, further research can be conducted and humans can start being tested to find out if they react to lean gut bacteria as the mice did


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