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Animals are given antibiotics for two reasons – to stave off infection in crowded conditions, AND to FATTEN THEM UP! You can purchase a $99 test to check the mix of bugs in your gut thru the American Gut Project, U of Colorado – giving you a statistical profile of your MICROBIOME – AND you help researchers to learn more about probiotics, diet, etc…. ooooh what a grey new scrabble word!

Don’t forget that SAUERKRAUT is one of the best (and natural) sources of healthy probiotics, and you can even make your own.

WSJ:  A Lack of Bacteria Can Make You Overweight

Genetics and Microbes in Your Gastrointestinal Tract Offer Clues to Metabolism and Obesity

Researchers at Cornell University have identified a family of microbes called Christensenellaceae that appear to help people stay lean—and having an abundance of them, or not, is strongly genetic.

Someday, it may be possible to have the Christensenellaceae clan adopt you, however. Mice that received transplants of the bacteria gained less weight than untreated mice eating the same diet. The study was published in the journal Cell this month.

There has been an explosion of research into how bacteria affect human health, and body weight is one of the most intriguing areas. There is growing speculation that rising rates of obesity may be due in part to increased use of antibiotics, which may be wiping out bacteria that help humans convert food into energy efficiently.

Babies are born without any bacteria and eventually play host to approximately 100 trillion of the tiny micro-organisms, which outnumber human cells by about tenfold. Bacteria coat every inch of skin, the mouth, the nose, the ears, the genitals and particularly the gastrointestinal track. They not only digest food and help fight off invaders, but also produce vitamins and chemicals that help regulate the immune system, metabolism—even mood.

“In the past, the main bacteria we saw were the nasty guys, the ones that kill you. We haven’t been looking at the thousands of nice guys that help us and keep us thin,” says Tim Spector, a genetic epidemiologist at King’s College London.

This microbiome, as it is called, has evolved along with humans, and even small disruptions have been implicated in a long list of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, belly fat, cancer and atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the arteries. 

The field is booming in part because scientists are now able to identify and count bacteria more easily, using gene analysis, in stool, saliva, and other samples. The collections can provide a bonanza of information of how complex and different human bacteria communities are.

Introducing bacteria into mice raised to be virtually germ-free has allowed scientists to demonstrate not correlations, but actual cause and effect.

It has been known for decades that gut bacteria affects weight in animals. Farmers have been giving antibiotics to livestock and poultry since the 1950s because it makes them grow fatter, says Martin Blaser, a microbiologist at New York University. His studies have shown that giving low-dose penicillin to mice for just four weeks early in life makes them obese later in life—even when their gut bacteria appeared to be normal.

Read the full article: http://online.wsj.com/articles/a-lack-of-bacteria-can-make-you-overweight-1416260446

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