Results from a new study indicate that a person’s ability to shed pounds could have to do with what’s in their guts – specifically, their microbiome.
Microbiome are microorganisms that help us break down food, and each has an army of these tiny assistants. Researchers from the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle decided to take a look at what role microbiome might play when it comes to weight loss.
The scientists tracked the baseline microbiome of 105 people who were trying to lose weight and found that despite the entire group implementing healthier diet changes, roughly half of them did not lose weight. In looking at the participants’ baseline gut microbiome, the researchers discovered that the people whose bodies were resistant to weight loss had microbiome with lower bacterial growth rates than their now-thinner counterparts.
What the ISB study ultimately determined was that there are some people who do not lose weight simply due to diet changes, and that those folks likely need greater interventions than just switching up what they eat.
“At a minimum, this work may lead to diagnostics for identifying individuals who will respond well to moderate healthy lifestyle changes, and those who may require more drastic measures to achieve weight loss,” ISB Assistant Professor Dr. Sean Gibbons said in a statement.
The doctor, who is a corresponding author on the paper, explained, “By understanding which microbes and metabolic processes help promote weight loss in the gut microbiome, we can begin to design targeted prebiotic and probiotic interventions that might push a weight-loss resistant microbiome to look more like a weight-loss permissive microbiome.”