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Manipulating gut bacteria may cut obesity, diabetes risk

IANS  |  New York 

Manipulating levels and ratios of gut bacteria can help prevent and -- a common risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases, finds a new study.

The study with the rodent equivalent of showed evidence that the intestinal microbiome -- a 'garden' of bacterial, viral and fungal genes -- plays a substantial role in the development of and in mammals, including humans.

"This study adds to our understanding of how bacteria may cause obesity, and we found particular types of bacteria in mice that were strongly linked to metabolic syndrome," said David Hackam, at the in Baltimore, the US.

"With this new knowledge we can look for ways to control the responsible bacteria or related genes and hopefully prevent in children and adults," he added, in a paper published in the journal Mucosal Immunology.

is a cluster of around the waist, high blood sugar and increased blood pressure, and is a risk factor for heart disease, and

The team ran a series of experiments on both normal mice and mice genetically modified to lack Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-- a protein that receives to activate -- in their intestinal epithelium.

They fed both groups of mice "standard chow," or with 22 per cent fat calories, for 21 weeks.

Compared to normal mice, those lacking TLR4 showed a series of symptoms consistent with metabolic syndrome, such as significant weight gain, increased body and liver fat, and

When administered there was a significant reduction in the amount of bacteria in the intestinal tract, which prevented all symptoms of in the mice that lacked TLR4.

This demonstrates that bacterial levels can be manipulated to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome.

"Our experiments imply that the bacterial sensor TLR4 regulates both host and bacterial genes that play previously unrecognised roles in leading to the development of metabolic syndrome in mice," Hackam said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 14 2018. 16:42 IST