Obesity rates worldwide are increasing at an astounding rate. While diet, lifestyle, and physical activity have traditionally been identified as the main causative factors, researchers at Washington University are the first to implicate gut bacteria (microbiome) as a new driving factor. The Gordon research group studied gut microbiome in identical and fraternal twins – much like their mouse studies that revealed that gut microbiota is both a biomarker and mediator of obesity, they found that certain gut microbiota in twins were associated with obesity. These results could serve as a guide to design therapeutic interventions via modifications to the gut microbiota.
Patent: Issued 2310532
Publication: Nature. 2009 Jan 22;457(7228):480-4.