09 April 2013

Gut Bacteria Based Obesity Treatment Works In Mice

Obesity has significant links to how one's gut bacteria work in a person's digestive tract.  New research tested in mice shows that "a natural gut enzyme — called intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) — that helps keep endotoxin in check." The endotoxin in the gut produced by gut bacteria are the mechanism by which many of the downsides of obesity work their way into our bodies.
[M]ice lacking IAP have leaky guts, as well as excess endotoxin and inflammatory molecules in their blood. The knockout animals are also obese and have insulin resistance, a sign of diabetes. 
The team then looked at the effects feeding mice IAP as a supplement to a high-fat diet. A daily dose of IAP (it’s a powder that dissolves in the animals’ drinking water) for 11 weeks prevented all of the problems that develop in mice eating the high-fat diet alone — insulin resistance, leaky gut, blood endotoxin, inflammation, and weight gain.
In yet another set of experiments, the researchers fed mice a high-fat diet and allowed them to fully develop metabolic syndrome and obesity. Then they gave them the IAP supplement for six weeks. In these animals, IAP reduced endotoxin levels, inflammation and glucose intolerance. If the fat mice had taken the supplement for a longer period of time, their condition may have reversed even more[.]
Essentially, IAP supplements hold the promise of a diet pill that works not by curbing hunger, but by changing the way the body processes what it eats.

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