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Probiotics Improve Nutrient Absorption from Food

What does this picture have to do with probiotics,
nutrients, or obesity? Absolutely nothing. But I
came across this and wanted to share it as an
example of the subliminal messages Disney has
been known to throw into their work.
Here's another study that links the bacteria in the gut to body composition and weight. I covered a similar study recently (click HERE to read that post), and this just adds to our understanding of this young field of study.

Studies in mice have indicated that gut microbes influence both sides of the energy-balance equation by contributing to nutrient absorption and regulating host genes that affect amount of fat a person carries. However, it remains uncertain as to what extent gut microbiota has as a regulator of nutrient absorption in humans. So this is what the researchers aimed to determine.

What they found was bacterial populations changed as a function of the calories consumed, and these changes occurred within a relatively short period of time. Changes were observed in two of the dominant bacteria families in the gut – Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Previous studies have revealed that weight loss is associated with an increase in Bacteroidetes and a decrease in Firmicutes.

The researchers conclude, "these results show that the nutrient load is a key variable that can influence the gut (and fecal) bacterial community structure over short time scales. Furthermore, the observed associations between gut microbes and nutrient absorption indicate a possible role of the human gut microbiota in the regulation of the nutrient harvest."

I hope I'm not the only one who thinks this stuff is fascinating...

Source: Energy-balance studies reveal associations between gut microbes, caloric load, and nutrient absorption in humans

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