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Science

Gut Bacteria In Slim People Extract More Nutrients 212

Posted by Soulskill
from the starve-them-into-doing-what-you-want dept.
Beeftopia writes "Researchers discovered that inserting gut bacteria from obese people into mice without gut bacteria led to the mice becoming obese. Gut bacteria from slim people inserted into the same mice did not lead to mouse obesity. The researchers concluded (abstract) that gut bacteria from the slim people were more efficient at extracting nutrients from food than those of the obese."
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Gut Bacteria In Slim People Extract More Nutrients

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  • FIAF. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Friday September 06, 2013 @05:37PM (#44779745) Journal

    This is a FIAF thing..
    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2007/12/fiaf-whos-fat-is-it-anyway.html [blogspot.com]

    It's not that they're better at extracting nutrients, it's that they influence the body to expend more or less enery. The nutrient extraction is a side effect.

    I do wish researchers would read the relevant literature before jumping to conclusions.

    • Well the conclusion for non scientists is obvious. There's going to be a market to extract Julia Roberts' gut bacteria and reinject them into a bunch of fat one percenters for millions of dollars a pop.
    • Re:FIAF. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hamburger lady (218108) on Friday September 06, 2013 @06:43PM (#44780203)

      yeah, i doubt the authors of the Science study above read any relevant literature at all.

    • by Gninnaf (1195591)
      I think they might have it backwards. If the gut bacteria is more efficient more nutrients are extracted which can be converted and stored by the body making you fat not slim.
      • Re:FIAF. (Score:4, Informative)

        by RMingin (985478) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:06PM (#44780727) Homepage

        Gut bacteria feed themselves, not you.

        More efficient or effective gut bacteria eat your lunch before you can.

        While in our overfed society, having hyperactive gut bacteria keeping you thin would be good, fatties would be laughing in a major disaster, since they'd get to enjoy more of that roadkill dinner they scavenged, and they'd have longer reserves for the initial disaster and the ensuing survival training course.

        Now if we could just toggle between two sets of bacteria, we'd have a pretty ideal setup!

    • Of course it is a French thing. Those thin scientists at the French Institute Alliance Française have come up with a way to make Americans thin... But to what end?!
    • I do wish researchers would read the relevant literature before jumping to conclusions.

      Good God, that type of thinking could alter not just research, but the very institutions that sponsor it as well!
      Won't someone remember those brave souls that labor on... hoping for tenure and a nice comfy grant?

    • Very interesting. Thanks for that.
  • Oh look the d word (Score:4, Insightful)

    by trdtaylor (2664195) on Friday September 06, 2013 @05:40PM (#44779757)

    "However, the diet was also important for creating the right conditions for the lean twin's bacteria to flourish. A bacterial obesity therapy seems unlikely to work alongside a a diet of greasy burgers."

    Guess what, proper diet still required. /surprise.

    • by alen (225700)

      lesson?

      don't eat junk food. crap like soda acidifies your stomach more than it needs to and kills good bacteria

      • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday September 06, 2013 @05:54PM (#44779861) Homepage Journal

        lesson?

        don't eat junk food. crap like soda acidifies your stomach more than it needs to and kills good bacteria

        I'd suggest eating more beans and lentils, but we've already argued about global warming today.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        PH of a very acidic soda = 2.522, PH of stomach acid = 1.35

        Don't blame the soda for having an acidic stomach.

        • PH of a very acidic soda = 2.522, PH of stomach acid = 1.35

          Don't blame the soda for having an acidic stomach.

          If you drink something acidic, the total acidity level of your stomach will be more than if you drink water.

          • If you mix something less acidic with something more acidic the total resulting solution will be *less* acidic due to dilution. Your stomach however will produce some more acid in *extremely* short order to regulate it's pH so you don't... yknow... DIE.

          • by jamesh (87723) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @03:13AM (#44782363)

            PH of a very acidic soda = 2.522, PH of stomach acid = 1.35

            Don't blame the soda for having an acidic stomach.

            If you drink something acidic, the total acidity level of your stomach will be more than if you drink water.

            That last statement is correct, but your stomach will still be less acidic than if you drank nothing, so it doesn't support the original statement that drinking soda makes your stomach more acidic as drinking anything less acidic than stomach acid will always make your stomach less acidic. There are a bunch of reasons why drinking lots of soda isn't a good idea, but acidifying your stomach isn't one of them.

        • PH of a very acidic soda = 2.522, PH of stomach acid = 1.35

          Don't blame the soda for having an acidic stomach.

          The stomach is not the interesting local of pH.

          Further down the gut is where pH becomes an issue for sustaining
          the bacteria mix in the gut. Poo does not exit at a pH of 3 or lower.
          It is clear to me that the pH profile through the gut is important. Small
          intestine bacteria is likely different from large bowel bugs.

          As these bugs live and die they release "stuff" to be taken up by the
          body and other bacteria. In addition the nutritional profile is modified.
          Consider Vegemite and Marmite and note the folic

      • by smaddox (928261)

        And you're basing that on..... what? Maybe you're right, but I've never seen any evidence that suggests that this is true.

        Sodas are bad for you because they contain ~32 grams of sugar per 12 oz can, AND people regularly drink several cans in one sitting. That much sugar is extremely bad for you. To learn why, watch this video. [youtu.be]

        • Sodas are bad for you because they contain ~32 grams of sugar per 12 oz can

          Dr Pepper Ten has less than one-tenth of that. I drink diet soda because it's cheaper than prescription stimulant or NRI medication.

        • by khallow (566160)
          If the acid of sodas matters anywhere, it'd be the teeth of the mouth. And those 32 grams of sugar would matter for much the same reason (mouth bacteria digesting sugar and generating teeth-eating acids as waste products).
    • by Belial6 (794905)
      You should argue it out with the ELEM (Eat Less Exercise More) crowd. They say you are wrong, and greasy burgers do not make you any more fat that a diet of strictly tofu and whole grain rice.
  • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday September 06, 2013 @05:45PM (#44779789) Homepage Journal

    I decide how much to eat and when, thus maintaining a healthy BMI and I get out and exercise frequently.

    BTW it's Friday, time for my customary run to the beer fridge.

    • Re:Mind over Matter (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday September 06, 2013 @06:02PM (#44779913) Journal

      It isn't quite as easy as you might indicate.

      I'm 40 and eat a better balanced diet than when I was 20. I exercise, but weight has gradually increased over time. I was at the bottom end of normal for what BMI charts say I should have been @ age 20. I am now about 15 lbs into the "overweight". My doc says I am fine because I have more muscle, but he wants me to hold the line.

      I made some changes to exercise, working out 5 times a week in the morning and cutting out all soft drinks and after dinner snacking. I dropped 5 lbs in two weeks. i was hydrating a lot so it wasn't water that caused the drop.

      After two weeks, same diet same exercise I dropped 5 more pounds in two weeks. I was feeling great. I was hoping for another 10. But guess what? Two months later, same diet same exercise I didn't drop a single pound. I am not sure how to explain it. It is like my body reached a certain point and compensated for the caloric drop by going into a lower metabolism rate.

      When I was 20 I couldn't gain weight no matter what. Now, I know that 160# is a place that my body just doesn't want to drop below. I understand that I could increase exercise more or cut out even more food... but is it worth it?

      I am convinced that BMI might be a guideline, but it isn't gospel. I can still run a mile at a good clip and keep up with the kids. What am I gaining by dropping into a somewhat arbitrary scale if I am healthy already?

      • even with 200+ miles on a bike a week I won't go below that.
        • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday September 06, 2013 @06:15PM (#44780003) Homepage Journal

          even with 200+ miles on a bike a week I won't go below that.

          Math doesn't argue, you're taking in what you burn in Calories. You are not keeping that weight on by inhaling too much air.

          When I rode a road bike I was always around 165. Now I'm about 190, but don't get that level of aerobic workout anymore. But I remember well how much I ate and how I went to bed hungry so I wouldn't be towing a 5 extra pounds of lard up some of the California hills.

          • by pepty (1976012)
            math doesn't argue: if you lose a significant amount of weight (~10% of your bodyweight or more) your basal metabolism drops and your appetite increases: you will burn fewer calories for a given activity level. You undergo hormonal changes related to those experienced by people who are starving. You have to keep the weight off for six months to a year or more before your body considers your situation to be "normal" again. During that time you will burn fewer calories at a given activity level than someone w
            • by metlin (258108)

              Here is the simple solution:

              1. Calculate what your TDEE is (not just your BMR), based on your level of activity. As you lose or gain weight, make sure you calculate your TDEE.accordingly.

              2. If you eat more, burn more. As simple as that. It comes down to how anal you are (e.g. even if it's 2 am at night, I try and run off my excess calories for the day), but basically ~3500 calories = 1 lb.

              3. So, now, if you're gaining weight, then, cut your calories until your weight is stable. Then decrease by ~500 calorie

          • by metlin (258108)

            Math doesn't argue, you're taking in what you burn in Calories. You are not keeping that weight on by inhaling too much air.

            This. As long as you're in a caloric deficit, get enough protein (~1g/lb of lean body mass), and engage your muscles (I prefer to lift + rock climb + row), then you will shed the fat.

            As long as you're engaging your muscles and giving them enough protein to recover, your body will simply burn the fat.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        BMI is a guideline, but it's a poorly applied one. The scale is designed for comparing nursing home patients who are completely sedentary. If you walk a couple miles a day you're officially too active for BMI to make much sense.

        • by ackthpt (218170)

          BMI is a guideline, but it's a poorly applied one. The scale is designed for comparing nursing home patients who are completely sedentary. If you walk a couple miles a day you're officially too active for BMI to make much sense.

          I have people trying to argue with me all the time, regarding how much BS the BMI calculation is when they are an NFL nose tackle, capable of benching 500 lbs, but the numbers can't distinguish them from a fanboi who dines on Cheetos and Pepsi morning, noon and night.

          Total agreement, that's why Aerobic activity is included with BMI for a valid measure.

      • by smaddox (928261)

        If you really want to lose fat, supposedly strength training at ~80% your single rep maximum is the way to go. There's been some research that shows it's the most effective workout for weight loss. Depending on your current body type, you might add more muscle mass than you lose from fat, though.

        Also, cut out as much sugar (particularly fructose containing sugars) [youtu.be] from your diet as possible.

      • by whoever57 (658626)

        I seem to have hit the reverse effect. About 10-20 years ago, I put on quite a bit of weight, but my weight has been the same for years (~ 200 pounds and I am 6'0) , despite not worrying about what I eat and without a significant amount of exercise.

        I don't understand what is going on, but I am very happy to not have significant weight gain for the past decade.

  • by vivek7006 (585218)
    We need more butt fucking with thin women to spread gut bacteria!
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Friday September 06, 2013 @05:48PM (#44779825) Journal

    So I'm chubby because I have socialist bacteria in me? I'm gonna hafta swallow a little Fox News TV for the buggers.

  • by Subacultcha (921910) on Friday September 06, 2013 @05:53PM (#44779841)
    I'm not fat. I'm just more efficient at extracting nutrients than you.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I'm not fat. I'm just more efficient at extracting nutrients than you.

      Therefore you should eat less as your very efficient metabolism means you waste less

      Good for you.

      I have one of those darn inefficient metabolisms and eat like a chowhound without gaining a pound.

      are you going to do anything with that 50lb sack of sugar?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      You might wat to brush up on the reading skills. Skinny people have the more efficient bacteria.

  • Curious but not entirely unexpected. We are only beginning to understand the microbiome, but clearly it is important.

    I wonder if cold weather might affect our gut bacteria too. I have unintentionally lost a good deal of weight in a short time in a cold, dry environment (at least 30 pounds in three months), but regained it when returning to a hot, humid climate. Of course, the cold weather also burned more calories - but I also ate a good deal more than usual. More notably, I note that people living in hot

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 06, 2013 @06:15PM (#44780007)
    So the mice became obese after being injected with gut bacteria from obese people. But the mice that were injected with gut bacteria from non-obese people did not. Or put another way, before the injection the mice were not obese, and after the injection the mice were still not obese. Since those mice experienced no change whatsoever, it makes no sense to conclude that the non-obese bacteria is more efficient at extracting nutrients. If that was the reason for the change, shouldn't there be some difference after the injection of the non-obese bacteria?
  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:20PM (#44780791)

    It has long been recognized in farming that parasites keep animals thin. Same for people. Gee!

  • evolutionarily (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stenvar (2789879) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:29PM (#44780839)

    In evolution, one of the biggest threats to humans was starvation. So, what we consider a fat-causing problem these days probably used to be a big evolutionary advantage at some point.

    • Re:evolutionarily (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Solandri (704621) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @12:27AM (#44781785)
      Through most of human history, being plump was considered attractive. Food was hard enough to come by that most people were thin. Being fat meant you were well fed, and thus affluent. So people considered obesity to be attractive, thinness to be unattractive. The reversal came about only when average productivity increased to where nearly everyone could afford all they wanted to eat, and affluence was exhibited via other ways - like luxury cars, designer suits/dresses, rolex watches, Apple products, and current-gen 3D video cards. Well ok, maybe not the last one quite yet.
      • Through most of human history, being plump was considered attractive. Food was hard enough to come by that most people were thin. Being fat meant you were well fed, and thus affluent. So people considered obesity to be attractive, thinness to be unattractive. The reversal came about only when average productivity increased to where nearly everyone could afford all they wanted to eat, and affluence was exhibited via other ways - like luxury cars, designer suits/dresses, rolex watches, Apple products, and current-gen 3D video cards. Well ok, maybe not the last one quite yet.

        This is still true among North Koreans. Being told you have lost weight is considered an insult - that you're poor.

    • by symes (835608)

      This is a good point - we have to be careful about how we interpret observations. Science can be easily swayed by social norms, if we are not too careful.

  • If gut bacteria from slim people actually extracted more nutrients from food, bacteria would need less food to extract the calories and nutrients from that food (since they are more efficient) than the gut bacteria from fat people. This makes no sense since it is well documented that slim people can eat more food and not gain weight than fat people can.

    This only stands to reason that the gut bacteria from FAT people extract more nutrients from food and are more efficient, extracting more calories from that
  • by Anarchduke (1551707) on Friday September 06, 2013 @11:12PM (#44781541)
    So if I cut open a skinny person and eat their entrails, I will lose weight?
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Saturday September 07, 2013 @01:10AM (#44781957)

    Is fatness a sign of inefficiency or efficiency?

    If I went back 50 thousand years and saw two guys... a fat guy and a skinny guy... which would I assume was more prosperous? The association of fatness with poverty, ill health, etc is a modern association born of our great resources.

    A man that needed 10,000 calories a day simply to survive could live in our society rather easily. However, 50,000 years ago he'd be a dead man.

    Today, the standard of health is not what it was in our genetic past. That is not to say that the standard is wrong or that people that are skinny are TODAY healthier. However, implying that the fat people have less efficient digestive systems implies that somehow people are getting fat while extracting less from their food. Well... how did they get fat then?

    Its possible I'm reading the wrong things into this and they're implying that the fat people NEED to eat more to get their base nutrition which leaves them with excess empty calories which leads to obesity. However, the experiment said they fed both sets of mice the same food. Which means Mouse 1 got fat on food X and Mouse 2 did not. Well where did those extra calories the skinny mouse got go if not into fat? Me thinks the little stinker pooped them out which doesn't seem like efficiency.

    Possibly the solution here is to have a LESS efficient digestive system. Lots of dieting drugs effectively do that. I think there was one that made it hard for people to metabolize fat. It worked apparently... but had the unfortunate side effect of causing people to lose bowl control as an oily mess exploded from their rectums. I tried to put that both accurately and maturely... but... its not easy.

    Look, I'm just pointing out the logical incongruity here of saying that a more efficient digestive system leads to a skinny mouse. That makes no sense.

    In any case, great research... I await the bacterial transplants that will let us all eat like pigs while still looking smoking in our bathing suits.

    • by ledow (319597)

      "However, implying that the fat people have less efficient digestive systems implies that somehow people are getting fat while extracting less from their food. Well... how did they get fat then?"

      Think of the word "efficiency". The useful energy they get from their food is less than the thin people. Thus, there is a lot more "waste" - both fecal waste and unwanted things making it into the body but NOT being used for energy (e.g. fat).

      It's not that they aren't eating the same things - it's that the thin pe

      • "Think of the word "efficiency". The useful energy they get from their food is less than the thin people. Thus, there is a lot more "waste" - both fecal waste and unwanted things making it into the body but NOT being used for energy (e.g. fat)."

        Except for what are they actually getting from the food that fat people aren't?

        Do they have more energy? Are they using those calories for something? Because if they're just pooping the calories out that's not actually processing the food. That's just passing it thro

  • Heard it on radio last year, not news. Also, gut bacteria is responsible for serotonine production (depression and food could be related)
  • No, I am not getting fecal transplant. Thank you.

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