Studies Find That High-Fat Diet Triggers Changes in Gut Microbiota Leading to Increased Body Fat Accumulation
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Obesity, a condition that causes abnormal or excessive fat accumulation, is one of the biggest drivers of chronic disease. The condition has become a major concern around the world, with the number of affected individuals constantly rising. Researchers and scientists investigate the causes and effects of obesity, studying not only eating habits, but also the changes in gut microbiota and their relationship to excessive fat accumulation.
Previous studies have shown that gut microbiota plays an important role in food absorption. It may also trigger various inflammations. Lead by Dr. Krzysztof Czaja, researchers from the University of Georgia, Binghamton University and Washington State University decided to take a closer look at this subject and determine whether there is a correlation between high-fat diets and changes in the gut flora.
“We divided lab rats into two groups – one group was fed a low-fat diet, and the other a high-fat diet,” explained Dr. Czaja. “A seven day exposure to a diet high in fat proved to be sufficient to increase body fat accumulation. After 21 days we noted not only increased body fat and weight, but also a significant change in the bacterial gut flora. These changes produced further damage, causing inflammation and distortion of gut brain communication due to weakened neuroprotective signalling and neuronal damage.”
The researchers found that such inflammation may in turn modify the signals of satiety, leading to overeating, and increased aggregation of body fat.
The study provided evidence that a diet rich in fat changes the composition and diversity of the gut flora and results in inflammation in the brain’s feeding centers. It gives as important information how our diet choices influence the functioning of gut microorganisms, produce damage to nerve cells and change the communication between the brain and the gut flora, causing overeating, excessive weight increase, increased body fat accumulation, and obesity.
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