OBESITY in Australia has more than doubled over 20 years, with everything from minimal exercise, poor diet and lack of willpower blamed for declining health. But scientists have discovered there are trillions of other factors – all found in the gut – that are contributing to the increasing rate of disease.
Researchers from the University of Maryland in the United States have found 26 bacteria in gut microbiota that appear to be linked with metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of disorders that together increase cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk. Factors such as cholesterol, glucose levels and body mass all contribute to metabolic syndrome.
”The gut microbiota has been implicated in obesity, perhaps by influencing energy homeostasis, host signalling, insulin resistance, gut permeability, inflammation and the innate immune response,” according to the study, published in the online journal, PLoS.