Diverse Gut Bacteria Promote Health
One way losing weight may improve health is by increasing the genetic diversity of bacteria that normally live in the gut, a study found. Researchers counted the number of bacterial genes in the intestines of 49 overweight and obese participants, then grouped the people into two categories: those with a high gene count and those with a low gene count. Independent of differences in weight, participants with a high bacterial gene count had less insulin resistance and healthier blood-fat levels than those with a low gene count. After a six-week weight-loss program, people starting out with low gene counts had more bacterial genes along with lower body fat and cholesterol levels. The researchers noted that people who had eaten more fruits and vegetables prior to the study tended to have high gene counts, suggesting that diet may affect the health of your gut microbes.
Source: Nature, Aug. 29, 2013