Urgent need to reassess eating habits
Melting excess pounds away by balancing the microbiota is hope within reach? Perhaps, at least as long there is a better understanding of how food, probiotics, prebiotics and fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) impact the gut microbial ecosystem. While the war on obesity is not yet won, it has most certainly been declared!
Diet is both the leading risk factor for obesity and the main lever in gut microbiota modulation. Unsurprisingly, the composition of the gut is shaped by dietary preferences. For example, omnivores have a higher diversity of bacteria compared to vegetarians. Similarly, microbiota is dominated by certain specific species in consumers of animal fat and protein, etc3. In theory, it seems easy to “remedy”...
Responses vary from person to person. Despite a great number of studies, no direct link has currently been established between action on the flora and the amount of weight loss11. Some researchers believe that initial composition of our gut microbiota explains the variability in responses to diet7,11 while others feel that it is even a good predictor of success7.
Among this controversy, only one thing is certain—healthy eating matters, even if some of us gain weight more easily than others!
Among the treatments available to morbidly obese patients, bariatric surgery is one of the most effective. It consists in reducing the size of the stomach or bypassing all or part of the small intestine. In addition to weight loss, the procedure affects gut microbiota7,9. Researchers even believe that the alteration of microbiota following surgery is directly responsible for the decline in fat mass and the host’s reduced ability to use food as fuel9.
3 Abenavoli L et al. Gut Microbiota and Obesity: A Role for Probiotics. Nutrients. 2019 Nov 7;11(11). pii: E2690.
7. Lee Clare J et al. Gut microbiome and its role in obesity and insulin resistance. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2020;1461(1):37-52.
9. Mulders RJ et al. Microbiota in obesity: interactions with enteroendocrine, immune and central nervous systems. Obes Rev. 2018 Apr;19(4):435-451
11. Seganfredo FB et al. Weight-loss interventions and gut microbiota changes in overweight and obese patients: a systematic review. Obes Rev. 2017 Aug;18(8):832-851.