Gut bugs make people slim: Study

Washington: Want to lose weight without
dieting or exercising? Add an extra helping of human gut
bugs, researchers say.

Japanese researchers have found that supplementing the
diets of overweight people with one type of human gut microbe
makes them lose weight.

"The bacteria may cause weight loss by inhibiting fat
absorption in the intestine," lead author Yukio Kadooka said.

During the study, published in European Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, the team gave 87 overweight volunteers 100
grams of fermented milk, which is used to make yoghurt, twice
a day, while they continued with their normal diets.

The milk drunk by half of the group was enriched with
Lactobacillus gasseri. After 12 weeks, these volunteers had
lost an average of one kg, while their counterparts showed no
change in weight.

Scans revealed that they had lost 4.6 per cent of their
"bad", visceral fat, which surrounds internal organs and is
implicated in metabolic syndrome, and 3.3 per cent of their
subcutaneous fat, New Scientist reported.

Hip and waist circumference also went down by an average
of 1.7 and 1.5 cm respectively.

"For doing absolutely nothing, that`s a lot," says
Matthew Digby, who researches dietary milk proteins at the
University of Melbourne in Australia and was not involved in
the study.