It’s no secret that trillions of bacteria live in and around us all the time. When we get sick or develop an illness, bacteria are almost always the culprits. Did you know that certain bacteria are linked to obesity and being overweight? According to a recent study, scientists have found a connection between your poop and types of body fat.
The study found that certain people have more bacteria in their feces than others. People with more diverse bacteria in their poop were found to have healthier body types and lower levels of visceral fat. Those with fewer bacteria in their poop were likelier to have higher levels of visceral fat.
Visceral fat can have negative affects on your health because it sits around organs like the pancreas, liver, and intestines. Higher levels of visceral fat have been linked to greater risks of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Because visceral fat is linked to these top killers in America, it may be beneficial to look at actual fat measurements in people as opposed to just obtaining a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a broad measurement.
By discovering the link between less diverse bacteria in poop and obesity or other cardiovascular risks, this may help to explain why health risks like these run in families. How these gut and fecal bacteria affect fat is still undetermined because the study was merely observational.
More studies need to be done to figure out ways to control obesity. It is clear that different gut bacteria may influence a person’s overall health. Using gut microbes (new bacteria for a person’s gut) could eventually help bring obesity rates down. Future studies may even include fecal transplants, which may entirely change a person’s gut bacteria for the better. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds.