Combat obesity with the gut microbiome. A new study published findings that a bacteria in the small intestine helps to digest high-fat foods.
The senior author of the study, Eugene B. Chang, noted that the small intestine is an understudied region of the microbiome "Few people have focused on the microbiome of the small intestine, but this is where most vitamins and other micronutrients are digested and absorbed," he stated. The purpose of the study was to uncover what role gut bacteria play in the digestion and absorption of fats. The research suggests that in the future obesity could be potentially combated by inhibiting the abundance of certain bacteria that promotes fat absorption.Researchers used germ-free mice with not intestinal bacteria. The mice with no bacteria were fed high-fat diets and did not gain weight. They were instead found to be secreting the fats in their stool. A second group of mice studied were called "specific pathogen free", meaning they were healthy but bred to harbor a variety of non-disease causing bacteria. This group gained weight on the diet and researchers were able to identify the strains of bacteria increasing in the small intestine that were seemingly attracted by the high fat foods. "Bacteria from the Clostridiaceae and Peptostreptococcaceae families became abundant in the small intestine while other microbes, including members of the Bifidobacteriacaea and Bacteriodacaea families, notably decreased." (Haridy, 2018)