Intestinal bacteria could be a key slimming aid, Danish research suggests

Millions in the Western World are struggling with weight problems, and dieting is a multi-billion dollar industry

The solution to obesity might be to change the make-up of your intestinal bacteria, new research indicates.

READ ALSO: Danish research: Obesity an immense cost to society

The study, in which the University of Copenhagen has participated, has increased our understanding of exactly which bacteria cause obesity and which ones keep you slim, reports

More than a gut feeling
“It’s a story that has unfolded over the last five years, during which time increasing evidence has come to light regarding how the make-up of your intestinal bacteria plays a decisive role in the development of obesity,” explained Karsten Kristiansen, one of the Copenhagen researchers.

“Our study is the latest in the series – and the next step along the way to one day being able to help obese people by changing the make-up of their intestinal bacteria.”

Copenhagen University has been working together with Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, BGI-Shenzhen, and the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research in Bergen.

A 10-15 year time-frame
Oluf Borbye Pedersen, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen in metabolic research, thinks that within 10-15 years it might be possible to give people capsules with healthy bacteria.

“Within the extremely complex ecology in the intestines, if we can map and characterise clumps of different bacteria that are beneficial with regard to obesity, the next step would be to attempt treatments in which we use them as the next generation of probiotics,” explained Pedersen.

“We could give them capsules in combination with healthy food, and in a clinical trial we could test whether this cocktail inhibits the development of obesity.”