Good bacteria in the gut protect obese people from heart attacks and strokes, according to scientists.
A study has found a link between the medical problems caused by being overweight, and the bacterial species in the intestines. People with less of these bugs are more likely to develop metabolic disorders such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.A flora with decreased bacterial richness seems to function entirely differently to the healthy variety with greater diversity. Professor Jeroen Raes, of Vrije University in Belgium, said: ‘This is an amazing result with possibly enormous implications for the treatment and even prevention of the greatest public health issue of our time. But we are not there yet. Now we need studies in which we can monitor people for a longer period.’
Metabolic conditions are becoming endemic because of people failing to exercise and eating foods that are high in sugar and fat. It is expected obesity levels will nearly double from 400 million in 2005, to more than 700 million in 2015 – and the trend is expected to persist at least until 2030.