Study Finds Bacteria That May Help With Weight Loss

Cancer Research UK has found that obesity is a bigger risk factor for cancer than smoking. Unfortunately, the number of people who are obese is only increasing. From dieting to exercise, a whole lot of lifestyle changes can help prevent obesity. However, had it been so easy to switch your diet or workout, the problem would have been controlled somewhat.

From 1975 to 2016, the cases of obesity have tripled across the globe. As of 2018, about 30% of the population is obese worldwide. Obesity is massive health concern as it has been associated to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, etc. People are constantly looking for easier ways to reduce their weight. And a new research might just have found a bacterium that can help.

What Has This New Study Found?

A new study which has been published in the journal Nature Medicine may have found bacteria that can reduce weight. Called Akkermansia muciniphila, this species can breakdown gel-like proteins in the intestines. This can assist those who have obesity-related disorders.

Researchers have found that people who drink supplements of this bacterium can improve their health. The gut-friendly bacterium naturally exists in the digestive system. This hints that it is harmless. Patients who took this bacterium’s supplements lost, on average, 5 pounds in three months. This was in comparison to participants who consumed placebo instead.

The study had 32 overweight participants all of whom had metabolic syndrome. They had risk factors such a high waist circumference and high blood pressure. Hence, their likelihood of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke was high. Researchers were not expecting to notice this weight loss.

That’s because they did not primarily conduct the study to see the effects of the bacterium on obesity. Senior author of the study, Patrice Cani said, “We were not really expecting effects on the body weight, but we still observed interesting trends.” Researchers also mentioned that the bacterium’s effect on weight loss couldn’t be confirmed.

This is because the sample size of the study was small and was not suitable “to deliver definitive conclusions.” However, this is a start. This doesn’t mean that supplementing on the bacteria alone can help shed some pounds. Obese individuals can use it for boosting metabolic activity but healthy eating and exercising are musts.

What Else Did The Study Find?

As mentioned above, this study’s main purpose was to look at the effects of the bacterium on metabolic syndrome. Here’s what it found:

  • Participants who supplemented on the gut bacterium had improved insulin sensitivity
  • The bacterium also improved cholesterol levels
  • It showed a reduction in hip circumference and fat mass
  • It lowered the markers of inflammation
  • Participants tolerated the bacteria well for the 3-month period of the study

Key Takeaway

A new report has found that a gut-friendly bacterium can improve metabolic health. And, this bacterium may also help with weight loss. However, the pilot study cannot confirm yet the effects of the bacteria on weight loss. A large-scale study needs to be conducted for solid conclusions.