Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/9/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Study finds that people with less diverse collections of microbes in their guts more likely to gain weight

While obesity remains at epidemic proportions throughout the developed world, there is now evidence to suggest it's not always linked to behavior and diet. A new study posits that what or how much a person eats isn't the only factor affecting weight. The microbes lining the intestines account as well.

Before one rushes out to change their roommate - or leave their spouse for a thinner one, be mindful that the mice swapped microbes through the unsavory habit of eating each other's droppings.

Before one rushes out to change their roommate - or leave their spouse for a thinner one, be mindful that the mice swapped microbes through the unsavory habit of eating each other's droppings.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

9/9/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Obesity, microbes, intestinal bacteria, study

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The new study raises the possibility that pro-biotic bacteria may be added to diet and exercise in the battle against obesity.

Researchers started with mice raised in sterile environments with no intestinal bacteria and gave them gut microbe samples taken from human twins -- both identical and fraternal. While the twins' genes were similar, one was obese and the other was of normal weight.

It was discovered that the mice that received bacteria from the obese twin gained more weight than those inoculated with the thin twin microbes. Their metabolisms showed signs of trouble like those seen in obese humans.

"That was a surprise," Ronald Evans, a molecular biologist at the Salk Institute says. While not involved in the research, Evans wrote a commentary on two related studies published last week in Nature.

People with less diverse collections of intestinal microbes are more likely to gain weight, and show the beginning signs of diabetes, than those with more microbial diversity.

"The question [those studies] left on the table is, is the microbiome following the changes in our bodies," Evans said, "or is it causing the changes in our bodies?" The latest study takes an important step toward saying the microbes causes the changes, Evans says.

Even more interesting was when the researchers put the obese-microbe mice and the lean-microbe mice in the same cage.

"Co-housing resulted in the invasion of the lean microbes into the obese cage mate's gut community, but not vice versa," Washington University scientist Jeffrey Gordon said who coordinated the research.

When the lean microbes took over the intestines of the obese-microbe mice, those mice gained less weight than mice that didn't have a cage mate carrying lean microbes.

It turned out that having an overweight cage mate didn't make the lean-microbe mice fat.

Before one rushes out to change their roommate - or leave their spouse for a thinner one, be mindful that the mice swapped microbes through the unsavory habit of eating each other's droppings.

"The question is, can we do this in people," Evans, the Salk Institute researcher says, "and can we actually get to the point where we have a culture that would be what you might call a good bacteria, or pro-biotic pill?"

Currently, it's not possible to take a magic pro-biotic pill and eat all the hamburgers you want. Mice that ate a high-fat, low-vegetable diet gained weight regardless of what microbes they carried.

Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Health

America drinks less soda: The soda industry sees an all-time-low in sales Watch

Image of The soda industry is changing.


Around five years ago, the soda industry fought back against Mayor Michael A. Nutter's proposal of imposing soda taxes in Philadelphia. Soda lobbyists back then organized protests and came up with campaign contributions to local politicians, with the assistance of ... continue reading

5 things people need to know about breast cancer Watch

Image of


Breast cancer is the most prevalent kind of disease that has been affecting women from all over the world. The World Health Organization estimated around 508,000 women die of this disease every year.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While some women fall prey ... continue reading

Early detection test can lead to breast cancer diagnoses before cancer appears Watch

Image of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


A recent study may make it possible to detect breast cancer before the disease develops. Researchers clarified, however, that the study was based on genetic changes from samples taken from healthy breasts and cancerous breasts. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

ACLU sues Catholic hospital over refusal to abort children Watch

Image of The ACLU is insisting that Catholic hospitals abort still-living children.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ACLU is suing Trinity Health Corporation, a Michigan-based Catholic hospital chain, because the organization refuses to perform abortions. The suit is similar to one brought by the ACLU in 2013, that case was dismissed by a Federal court. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Baby born with rare medical mystery thrives Watch

Image of Baby Angelito was born with two tubes for a nose.


Baby Angelito was born with two tubes in place of a nose but his doctors are optimistic about his condition.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported the medical mystery as well as Angelito's doctors' belief the infant will soon appear normal.The ... continue reading

20-million-year old flea carrying bubonic plague may be real reason dinosaurs went extinct Watch

Image of The Black Death plague devastated entire populations (Interfoto/Alamy)


Preserved in amber, a 20-million-year-old flea is believed to contain an ancient form of one of the world's deadliest bacteria: Black Death.  LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, the fossilized bacteria is ... continue reading

Baby born missing majority of skull miraculously beats the odds, reaches first birthday Watch

Image of


Doctors said that Jaxon Buell only had a few days to live after his birth. The boy was born with a rare condition called the Microhydranencephaly, which left the majority of his skull unable to form. Despite the odds, Jaxon is strong and recently celebrated a milestone ... continue reading

New dangerous cluster of Legionnaires' disease reported in the Bronx Watch

Image of Legionnaires' disease is a lung bacteria that causes flue-like muscle pain, headaches, fevers, drowsiness, chills and in some cases delirium.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new cluster of Legionnaires' disease has been reported in the Bronx and is not related to the cluster outbreak in the Bronx earlier this summer that left 12 dead. NEW YORK CITY, NY (Catholic Online) - Fox5ny reported seven cases of Legionnaires' disease in the ... continue reading

Why fidgeting may actually be good for your health Watch

Image of


When you feel like fidgeting, don't worry about whether it's bad for you or not. New research shows that being restless and fidgeting at work can actually be good for your health. HOLLYWOOD, CA  (Catholic Online) - A series of studies showed that long periods of ... continue reading

What you need to know about the developmental process of Influenza Watch

Image of Inflammation associated with infection in the soft palate stimulates the sneezing and coughing. This propels the flu virus out of the mouth enabling it to spread easily.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Influenza, or "Flu," the respiratory ailment that hits hardest during the colder months, first develops on the roof of the mouth. That's the findings of researchers, who note that flu is then spread through coughs and sneezes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

All Health News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More