Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Intestinal flora varies with the climate zones - Spiegel Online

Berkeley – People in the cold north apparently have different bacteria in the intestine than those in the south. In colder regions were to be found on average more bacteria that cause a higher body weight, researchers report in the “Biology Letters” of the British Royal Society. From an evolutionary perspective this is quite reasonable. Organisms with higher weight percentage is less heat lost because with them the ratio between surface and volume is more favorable.

their investigation crawled Taichi Suzuki of the University of California in Berkeley and Michael Worobey of the University of Arizona in Tucson six studies with data from a total of 1,020 subjects from 23 countries. The focus was on two strains of bacteria in the human gut that help determine the weight of a human being: Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Previous studies had shown that the probability of morbid obesity is increasing with increasing proportion of Firmicutes and dwindling proportion of Bacteroidetes bacteria.

A fatal connection

In the data analysis, a correlation between latitude of residence and Firmicutes respective share was: The cooler the region of residence of a subject, he had the more fattening foods bacteria in the medium in the digestive tract. The proportion of Bacteroidetes decreased, although not in equal strength.

The highly efficient Firmicutes can be converted into nutritious sugar and fat molecules almost all food components. Even fiber is almost fully utilized. Therefore, people place a higher proportion of Firmicutes in the gut rather put on weight, the researchers explain. “The effective fat burning and conversion of nutrients is important for residents of colder regions than in warmer climates.”

The pattern of our intestinal colonization is amazingly stable. Although man excretes trillion bacteria in the feces regularly, the resident bacterial strains can keep in their home. And although the man swallows every day new bacteria, which can be long-established germs while away from the newcomers hardly.


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