A study released in December 2006 found that people who were overweight had a different type of bacteria in the digestive tract than their healthy weight peers.  The overweight folks who lost weight experienced a change in their digestive bacteria, becoming more like those of leaner weight.  Researchers suggested that future studies should look at whether changing digestive bacteria would stimulate weight loss.


HEALTH E GUIDE COMMENT:  I find this type of finding interesting, but also disturbing for a few reasons:

1. Changes in bacteria may be a RESULT of losing weight, but not something that can CAUSE weight loss.  It’s like the chicken and egg dilemma.  What comes first:  the weight loss or the change in bacteria?

2. This finding could lead enterprising pharmaceutical companies to develop yet another diet drug based on the “lean” bacteria. Without knowing the exact relationship between weight and digestive bacteria, such a medication could actually interfere with the body’s natural processes.  From my perspective, we already have too many medications that do this; the result being numerous unwanted side effects.

3. Diet medications can lead people to ignore a central truth: healthy weight loss is based on long term lifestyle changes, not a pill