Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts published a 2017 JAMA article describing how gut bacteria synthesizes essential vitamins and amino acids to help degrade toxins. From birth, humans coexist with microbes. By adulthood, the number of gut microbes, far outnumbers the roughly 13 trillion human cells. More importantly, gut microbial cells (microbiota), have far more genes than human cells – 250-800 times more! This may affect lifetime body weight because body weight is not affected as much by ingested calories, as by the way they are absorbed. Microbial enzymes from microbiota turns polysaccharides into digestible energy. Various repeated studies suggest microbiota may powerfully affect obesity. Given the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes with obesity, microbiomes may influence this process. IH providers would do well to investigate gut health with both diabetic and obese patients. Assisting patients with digestive issues may assist in treating diabetic obesity-related problems.
JAMA January 24/31, 2017 Volume 317, Number 4 pg 355