Chinese Study Finds Intestinal Bacteria Controls Obesity

The answers to millions of people’s prayers for a new weight loss cure may have been answered. Researchers in China have discovered that an intestinal bacteria may be to blame for obesity.

According to The Daily Caller, researchers isolated a specific bacteria from the intestines of their test subject, a 385 pound man. Then, they gave the intestinal bacteria to insulin resistant mice specifically bred to resist weight gain. The mice gained weight after being injected with the bacteria.

Armed with this information, the researchers put the test subject on a specific diet to decrease the bacteria in his intestine to non-detectable amounts. In 23 weeks the 385 pound man lost 113 pounds. In addition to his weight loss his high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease all disappeared.

The research team was led by Zhao Liping, a professor of microbiology and associate dean at the School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology at Shanghai Jiao Tong University according to Yahoo News. Dr. Liping said, “The endotoxin released by the bacterium can activate a gene that helps generate fat. And it also deactivates a gene that consumes fat.”

This is not first time that scientists have thought microbes may be the cause of obesity, but such link had not been found until now. In 2004, Zhao read the findings about link between obesity and intestinal bacteria in mice. He wondered if the link existed in human. So he began a diet combining whole grains and fermented fruit like yams and bitter melon. After 2 years the 200 lb scientist lost 45 pounds.

The paper was published on December 13 in the “Journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology.”