Researchers from International consortium MetaHIT, which includes the research group of Jeroen Raes (VIB / Vrije Universiteit Brussel), demonstrated that people with fewer bacterial species in their intestines are more likely to develop complications, like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
A flora with decreased bacterial richness appears to function entirely differently to the healthy variety with greater diversity.
Jeroen Raes (VIB/VUB) said that this is an amazing result with possibly enormous implications for the treatment and even prevention of the greatest public health issue of our time.
Over the last years it has become very clear that there is a link between the bacterial population in our intestines and our health.
As a result, scientists also started studying the link between obesity and intestinal flora. An international consortium, including the VIB scientists Falk Hildebrand, Gwen Falony and Jeroen Raes in Brussels, examined the intestinal flora of 169 obese Danes and 123 non-obese Danes.
Raes said that they were able to distinguish between two groups based on their intestinal flora: people with a large richness of bacterial species in their intestines and people with a few less bacterial species.
He said that a species-rich bacterial flora appeared to function differently compared to the poorer variety and that it was surprising to see that obese and non-obese people were found in both groups.
The scientists did see that the group with lower species richness in the intestinal flora was more susceptible to developing obesity-related conditions and chronic inflammation.
The obese people in this group are more at risk of cardiovascular conditions than the obese people in the other group. These are important results that suggest that it is not only weight gain and dietary habits that play a role in the development of medical complications in obese people.
The study has been published in the journal Nature.
--ANI (Posted on 29-08-2013)