Our weight has an impact on the types of bacteria in the intestine
Nowadays, more and more children are overweight or obese. The question here is what differences there are in the body of overweight and normal weight peers. Researchers have now found that various types of bacteria live in the digestive tract of overweight children and adolescents. So special intestinal bacteria seem to be related to the amount of fat in the human body.
In a study, scientists from the internationally recognized Yale University’s Department of Pediatrics found that obese adolescents and normal-weight adolescents have various bacteria in their digestive tract. This finding opens up new ways to treat certain types of bacteria in a targeted manner. Perhaps early onset obesity could be prevented. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism".
Examination analyzes the body fat distribution of the test subjects
For their study, the researchers examined the intestinal bacteria and the weight of 84 young people. The subjects were between the ages of seven and twenty years. 27 participants were obese, 35 were heavily overweight, seven were overweight, and 15 subjects were normal weight. Generally, more and more people worldwide are overweight and obese. The children and adolescents underwent a so-called MRI to assess their body fat distribution, the researchers say. For this, they had to submit blood samples and record their diet in a diary.
Obese people have other bacteria in their gut
The study authors found eight groups of intestinal bacteria related to the amount of body fat in the body. The authors explain that four of these intestinal bacterial groups thrived mainly in obese subjects. So-called obesity is more common than many people assume. About 7 million are in therapy in Germany for obesity. However, the four other groups of bacteria were found less frequently in the obese subjects than in subjects with normal weight. The researchers found that the intestinal bacteria in obese children were more efficient at digesting carbohydrates.
Short chain fatty acids can be found more often in overweight children
In addition, the study found that overweight children have short-chain fatty acids in their blood more often than normal-weight children. These short-chain fatty acids are produced by certain types of intestinal bacteria and are linked to the production of fat in the liver, the scientists explain.
Short chain fatty acids are converted to fat and enrich our fat tissue
Our research suggests that short-chain fatty acids are converted to fat in the liver. This then enriches the adipose tissue, explains the author Dr. Nicola Santoro from the Yale University Department of Pediatrics in Connecticut. The results of the study signal that children with certain intestinal bacteria have a significantly higher risk of obesity in the long term. (as)