Food and Behaviour Research

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22 March 2015 - ScienceDaily - Special microbes make anti-obesity molecule in the gut

Microbes may just be the next diet craze. Researchers have programmed bacteria to generate a molecule that, through normal metabolism, becomes a hunger-suppressing lipid.

Mice that drank water laced with the programmed bacteria ate less, had lower body fat and staved off diabetes -- even when fed a high-fat diet -- offering a potential weight-loss strategy for humans.

In recent years, numerous studies have shown that the population of microbes living in the gut may be a key factor in determining the risk for obesity and related diseases, suggesting that strategically altering the gut microbiome may impact human health.

One advantage to microbial medicine would be that it's low maintenance, says Sean Davies, Ph.D. His goal is to produce therapeutic bacteria that live in the gut for six months or a year, providing sustained drug delivery