Who would’ve thought that harnessing E. coli could actually save lives?
By now, it’s common knowledge that a major scourge of modern-day existence is obesity.
It’s become a world-wide epidemic that kills 2.8million people each year. Type 2 diabetes affects 347million people globally, with over 80% of those diagnosed considered to be obese. This disease is not only a leading cause of death in most developed countries, it can also lead to nerve damage, renal failure, stroke, and the need for limb amputation.
So where does a bacteria that’s caused more than its own share of tragedy become the good guy in fighting obesity?
Well, it’s an established fact that immunization induces the body into thinking it is under assault, and the immune system makes weapons that will provide a defense when a real infection becomes a threat.
Recently, a group of researchers led by Sean Davies of Vanderbilt University have genetically altered bacteria that naturally reside in the gut — our microbiome — and have been shown to prevent weight gain, even over a month after the treatment ended. The results of the study have been published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The researchers genetically modified a harmless strain of E. coli (Nissle 1917) to produce the compound N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE), which acts as an appetite suppressant. The bacteria was added into the drinking water of mice who were fed high-fat diets over the course of eight weeks. The mice with the modified bacteria gained less weight, consumed less food, and had fewer markers for diabetes than mice that drank regular water or water with unmodified bacteria.
What’s more, the mice that consumed the NAPE-producing bacteria continued to exhibit these effects for 4-6 weeks after the treatment was stopped.
We’ve known for a long time that bacteria in the gut maintains proper immunity and profoundly influences body weight. How? Gut microbes regulate insulin, control appetite and metabolism, and more.
There are precious few natural supplement ingredients that have been proven by the National Institute of Health to successfully combat obesity. One of them is found in BioTrust Metabo 379. This may serve as a satisfactory weight-loss enhancement until these designer bacteria are more completely tested and — if the results are successful — approved for public use.
E. coli naturally lives in the gut, which gives it an additional advantage over other probiotics, which often don’t adapt well to the microbiome.
So the signs are positive. However, the first line of defense against obesity remains a smart diet, regular exercise, and extremely limited use of antibiotics.