Nav: Home

Your stomach bacteria determines which diet is best for weight reduction

September 10, 2015

New research enables "tailored" diet advice - based on our personal gut microbiome - for persons who want to lose weight and reduce the risk of disease. Systems biologists at Chalmers University of Technology have for the first time successfully identified in detail how some of our most common intestinal bacteria interact during metabolism.

The researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have developed a mathematical calculation platform that makes it possible to predict how different patients will respond to a modified diet, depending on how their gut microbiome is composed.

Work has been conducted in cooperation in the context of the EU funded project Metacardis, coordinated by professor Karine Clement at Institute of Cardiometabolism and Nutrition (Ican, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Inserm/Sorbonne University) in Paris and also includes professor Fredrik Bäckhed at the University of Gothenburg.

"This method allows us to begin identifying each individual bacteria type's metabolism and thus get a handle on the basic mechanisms in human metabolism," says Jens Nielsen, professor of systems biology at Chalmers and head of the research team.

There can be up to 1,000 different types of bacteria and other microorganisms in the human digestive system, many of which take part in metabolism in one way or another. The composition of the human gut microbiome greatly varies between individuals, for reasons that are largely unknown. However, research over the past few years has shown that there is a connection between some diseases and the composition of the gut microbiome.

"This is clear as regards type 2 diabetes, hardening of the arteries and obesity, for example. There are also indications that the same might apply to depression and the body's ability to respond to various cancer treatments," says Jens Nielsen.

Exactly how microorganisms interact with food, the individual and not least each other is extremely complex. Until now it has been very difficult to gain understanding of what the causal links are. In a study that was recently published in Cell Metabolism, however, researchers prove, through clinical trials, that the mathematical modelling they developed works.

The point of departure is a diet experiment that was performed at Ican. First the gut microbiome was characterised for individuals in a group of overweight patients, and then they were put on a weight loss diet. Everyone lost weight, which was expected. In patients with low-diversity gut microbiome, however, the content of several substances that generally indicate health risks was also reduced in the individuals' blood and faeces. This was a deviation from the patients who had gut microbiome with greater "biological diversity". Their health situation was not affected to the same extent.

Of real interest, however, is that the systems biologists from Chalmers with their modelling tools have largely been able to explain why both patient groups reacted as they did to the diet.

"Amongst other things, we have been able to demonstrate that the intestines of the individuals with low-diversity gut microbiome produce fewer amino acids when they follow this diet. This is one explanation for the improved blood chemistry.

In the short term, Jens Nielsen believes the research will make it easier for physicians to identify overweight patients who are at higher risk of cardiometabolic disease and could truly achieve major health benefits by modifying their diet and losing weight. Fairly soon it should be possible to design diet recommendations that take the gut microbiome of individual patients into account. Karine Clement is already thinking along these lines and new follow up clinical experiments are being designed.

"In the long term we might be able to add intestinal bacteria for patients whose metabolism does not function properly," she explains.

What are known as probiotics are already being used - various yoghurt cultures are one example - but the task of these bacteria is primarily to stabilise the intestines and create a favourable environment.

"The next generation of probiotics will pertain more to adding bacteria that integrate directly with the existing gut microbiome and make a lasting change to the composition," says Jens Nielsen.

The company Metabogen was founded based on collaboration between researchers at Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg and it will aim to develop these types of drugs.
-end-
Read the scientific article "Quantifying Diet-Induced Metabolic Changes of the Human Gut Microbiome": http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131%2815%2900330-7

Chalmers University of Technology

Related Bacteria Articles:

Conducting shell for bacteria
Under anaerobic conditions, certain bacteria can produce electricity. This behavior can be exploited in microbial fuel cells, with a special focus on wastewater treatment schemes.
Controlling bacteria's necessary evil
Until now, scientists have only had a murky understanding of how these relationships arise.
Bacteria take a deadly risk to survive
Bacteria need mutations -- changes in their DNA code -- to survive under difficult circumstances.
How bacteria hunt other bacteria
A bacterial species that hunts other bacteria has attracted interest as a potential antibiotic, but exactly how this predator tracks down its prey has not been clear.
Chlamydia: How bacteria take over control
To survive in human cells, chlamydiae have a lot of tricks in store.
Stress may protect -- at least in bacteria
Antibiotics harm bacteria and stress them. Trimethoprim, an antibiotic, inhibits the growth of the bacterium Escherichia coli and induces a stress response.
'Pulling' bacteria out of blood
Magnets instead of antibiotics could provide a possible new treatment method for blood infection.
New findings detail how beneficial bacteria in the nose suppress pathogenic bacteria
Staphylococcus aureus is a common colonizer of the human body.
Understanding your bacteria
New insight into bacterial cell division could lead to advancements in the fight against harmful bacteria.
Bacteria are individualists
Cells respond differently to lack of nutrients.

Related Bacteria Reading:

A Field Guide to Bacteria (Comstock Book)
by Betsey Dexter Dyer (Author)

The Bacteria Book: The Big World of Really Tiny Microbes
by Steve Mould (Author)

Bacteria: Staph, Strep, Clostridium, and Other Bacteria (Class of Their Own (Paperback))
by Judy Wearing (Author)

Molecular Genetics of Bacteria, 4th Edition
by Larry Snyder (Author), Joseph E. Peters (Author), Tina M. Henkin (Author), Wendy Champness (Author)

Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Sebastian G.B. Amyes (Author)

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
by Ed Yong (Author)

Superbugs: An Arms Race against Bacteria
by William Hall (Author), Anthony McDonnell (Author), Jim O'Neill Chair of a formal Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) (Author)

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
by W. W. Norton & Company

Molecular Genetics of Bacteria, Third Edition
by Larry Snyder (Author), Wendy Champness (Author)

Virus vs. Bacteria : Knowing the Difference - Biology 6th Grade | Children's Biology Books
by Baby Professor (Author)

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Approaching With Kindness
We often forget to say the words "thank you." But can those two words change how you — and those around you — look at the world? This hour, TED speakers on the power of gratitude and appreciation. Guests include author AJ Jacobs, author and former baseball player Mike Robbins, Dr. Laura Trice, Professor of Management Christine Porath, and former Danish politician Özlem Cekic.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#509 Anisogamy: The Beginning of Male and Female
This week we discuss how the sperm and egg came to be, and how a difference of reproductive interest has led to sexual conflict in bed bugs. We'll be speaking with Dr. Geoff Parker, an evolutionary biologist credited with developing a theory to explain the evolution of two sexes, about anisogamy, sexual reproduction through the fusion of two different gametes: the egg and the sperm. Then we'll speak with Dr. Roberto Pereira, research scientist in urban entomology at the University of Florida, about traumatic insemination in bed bugs.