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Medical News & Perspectives
January 24/31, 2007

Studies Link Intestinal Microbes With Obesity

JAMA. 2007;297(4):352-353. doi:10.1001/jama.297.4.352

While simple calculation of the numbers of calories consumed and expended often explains weight loss and gain, new research suggests that intestinal microbes may also play a role in the regulation of body weight (Ley RE et al. Nature. 2006;444:1022-1023;Turnbaugh PJ et al. Nature. 2006;444:1027-1031).

Two divisions of beneficial bacteria—Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes—reside in the gut, and the balance of the two seems to be important in determining an individual's propensity for obesity.