Thursday , October 6 2022

Our microbes can be the next anti-obesity therapy


"Q u especie we want to be?", Yesterday asked Rob Knight to the public just yesterday before the colorful scenario of the Future Congress, which he or she invites to that reflection.

To hundreds of people who waited for it before 10 in the morning in the room, the scientist replied: "Well, to understand this, first we have to know what species we are (…) and our body is only 43% human ".

The rest are microbes. The keynote speaker of this biochemist Neozelands (43) and a doctor in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University (USA).

Knight is also a professor of Science at the University of California, San Diego, and director and founder of the Center for Innovation in Microbiomas of that study house.

Over the past 15 years, the scientist has studied the relationship between obesity and the microbiome, that is, the population of microbes and their genetic material present in different ecosystems of the body.

"And I can tell you with 90% security that if someone is thin or obese, it depends a lot on the genes of the microbes that are in your gut."

While showing pictures of his lab, Knight talked about one of his studies for which he took intestinal bacteria from an obese human and another slim and transferred them to weak mice.

The result: animals with bacteria of the person with obesity got fat and those who received those from the thin human kept their weight. The scientist believes that this can happen in the same way in people because human microbes are efficient to extract energy from food and, in specific cases, they can also increase the appetite.

"It has already been shown that the microbiome also affects the response to medications and the diet to lose weight," Knight told El Mercurio.

"So, I think that it could be used soon to know what diet or what to intervene to choose in a personalized way instead of trying different things during months that finally do not work," said Aadi.

By e-mail

Although it is not clear when these treatments will be available, the specialist imagines that they will consist of taking a sample of their own fecal content and sending it to a company that will return the results by e-mail "tell you what to eat and what to do to make your loss more effective of weight ".

As explained, this process is already clinically validated in the US. and is used in Israel for dietary control in type 2 diabetes.

Is it expensive? S. But Knight estimates that advances in DNA sequencing and big data make him increasingly economic.

It is also likely that a microbiome-based strategy will soon be identified to decrease appetite.

"It is very feasible, in fact, that happens in animal models. There are good microbes that reduce immune system activation, which also reduces appetite and that is possible in humans. It is very interesting to do that study."

While research progresses, there are "homemade" forms and positively impacting the microbiome to prevent obesity, according to Knight.

"It has been seen that eating a greater diversity of plant species (basil, parsley, rosemary) dramatically improves the microbiota," he says.

There is also evidence that eating fermented foods contributes to the loss of weight through a process of fermentation in the stomach.

39 trillion
Of the microbial cells it has the body, nine trillion more than human cells. "We are more microbes than humans," Knight said yesterday.

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