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14.11.2015, admin
New York: An antimicrobial agent found in many consumer products ranging from hand soaps to toys and even toothpaste can rapidly disrupt bacterial communities in the gut, new research shows. Although the health implications are not certain, dysfunction of the gut microbiome has been associated with several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and malnutrition.
The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was based on findings made with zebrafish, which researchers believe are an important animal model to help determine possible human biological and health impacts of this antimicrobial compound. Triclosan was first used as a hospital scrub in the 1970s and now is one of the most common antimicrobial agents in the world, found in shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, mouth washes, kitchen utensils, cutting boards, toys, bedding, socks and trash bags. In the new study, researchers found that triclosan exposure caused rapid changes in both the diversity and composition of the microbiome in the laboratory animals.
Recently, there has been considerable interest in the role of gut bacteria and weight control. Recent work has shown that the microbes of the gut may play a role in human metabolism and adiposity.
A subsequent and much larger study of the microbiome associated with obesity conducted with humans also showed that obesity was associated with a depletion of Bacteroidetes, together with an enrichment in carbohydrate and lipid utilizing genes in the microbiome as a whole. Fecal samples were obtained from the majority of participants at an initial time point and then again 2 months later. This and other patterns of fecal microbial ecology in relation to body weight in humans have been reported recently, and these are summarized in Table 1 .
Proportion of Bacteroidetes sequences increased over time, on average, and correlated with weight loss.
Children remaining lean at age 7 had higher levels of Bifidobacteria and lower levels of S.
In contrast to studies performed in humans, studies of gut microbial ecology and obesity conducted in animals tend to have less variable outcomes. Is the variation in outcomes of human studies related to the complexity of the human lifestyle? The question of whether or not a microbial community can predispose a host to weight gain or loss has been addressed in animal models and human studies.
These researchers had banked samples over time and were able to go back to interrogate the microbiota of the same individuals prospectively. Clearly, obesity can be associated with a dysbiosis of the microbiota from the lower intestinal tract; recently, researchers have extended this observation to other parts of the body. Specifically, they found that Prevotellas (a group within the Bacteroidetes phylum) were in greater abundance in the overweight and Selenomonas was present only in the overweight individuals, suggesting that these taxa could be biomarkers for excess adiposity. Obesity is associated with a number of chronic conditions, including inflammation, insulin resistance, type II diabetes, hepatic steatosis, and cardiovascular disease. In the next posting, we will discuss how the gut bacteria could mediate weight control through their effects on metabolism, inflammation, insulin resistance and the endocrine system.

According to a recent study done by the researchers, it was revealed that gut bacteria may affect circadian rhythms and metabolism leading to weight gain in some people. Could bacteria in the gut play a role in obesity just as helicobacter plays a role in stomach cancer?
Because they are environmentally acquired, microbes constitute one part of our environment that may contribute to the obese state. Comparisons between all 154 participants showed obesity to be associated with reduced bacterial diversity and reduced representation of the Bacteroidetes.
In studies that examine the effect of weight loss on the abundance of Bacteroides-related taxa, the relationship has been reported as positive, neutral, and negative.
In animal studies, diet can be controlled precisely – this precludes any potentially modulating effects of variations in diet between participants e.g. One approach to this question has been to control the composition of the initial microbial community directly. In shorter-term study, Santacruz et al.found that the response of overweight adolescents to a diet and exercise weight-loss program was dependent on the initial microbiota prior to the treatment. In a study of the oral microbiota, Goodson et al  show differences in the diversity and abundances of salivary bacteria between overweight and healthy weight people. Traveling further down the gastrointestinal tract, bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine has been shown to be more common in morbidly obese patients than in healthy weight individuals.Although  preliminary, these studies indicate that obesity may be associated with a dysbiosis of the normal microbiota throughout the body.
A number of recent studies have focused on the mechanistic links between gut microbes and specific conditions associated with obesity. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle.
Furthermore, the microbiome differed between obese and lean hosts in much the same way it had in the obese mouse model, with obese host microbiomes enriched in gene categories involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. It is noteworthy that rather than using broad 16S rRNA gene surveys or metagenomics to assess the composition of microbial communities, these studies enumerated specific taxa using probes, which can differ between studies. Although these transplantation experiments are h ighly artificial, they show that a microbiota can predispose the host to greater weight gain, and recent studies have shown these findings to be relevant to human health. Both of these studies demonstrate that the microbiota are differentiated between people prior to the change in weight, which suggests that therapeutic interventions aimed at reshaping the gut microbiota may be beneficial for weight loss as well as preventive against weight gain.
These rhythms are communicated and carried out via signals sent from the brain and liver.The researchers from University of Chicago stated that mice with a normal set of gut microbes showed evidence of a regular daily microbial cycle, with different species flourishing in different parts of the day and producing different compounds. The gut bacteria have been shown to impact insulin resistance, inflammation, and adiposity via interactions with epithelial and endocrine cells.
The incidence of childhood obesity in China is rising and if not check, will lead to an explosion in obesity related chronic diseases in the future.
A microbiota with greater energy extraction efficiency resulted in less energy left over in feces and greater levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the cecum.

The fecal microbial communities of young adult female monozygotic (n = 31) and dizygotic (n= 23) twin pairs concordant for either leanness or obesity were compared, along with those of their mothers (n = 46), using a combination of traditional 16S rRNA gene clone libraries and high-throughput metagenomic analyses of the microbiome.
Thus, the varying patterns of association between microbial taxa and host weight raise the question of how much impact the differences in methodology can have on the patterns observed. Yet, average human diets that are not designed for weight loss may add noise to data rather than skew results one way or another. These compounds appeared to act on the liver and affected how circadian clock genes were expressed in the liver.
The human body is a complex system, made all the more complex through its interactions with the trillions of microorganisms that coat the body surface and densely populate the gut. Furthermore, when the luminal contents from the ceca of obese or lean mice were provided to lean germ-free recipients, the mice receiving the microbes from the obese donors gained more weight over a 2-week period than recipients of the lean microbes, despite equivalent food intake. Biases are inherent to all of the methods employed in studies of microbial ecology, and the degree of bias can vary between samples within a study. Indeed, in a comparison of human vegetarians and omnivores allowed to eat their normal diet, Tap et al.
Compared groups of children over time and observed that those who became overweight by age 7 had had lower levels of Bifidobacteria and higher levels of Staphylococcus aureus as infants compared with those that kept a healthy weight. In a study extending these observations to humans, 12 obese participants were randomly assigned to either carbohydrate-restricted or fat-restricted diets, and on average, the proportion of Bacteroidetes bacteria enumerated via 16S rRNA gene sequencing increased over time, mirroring reductions in host weight but not changes in diet.
This argues for better designed prospective studies in the future that will address variability of sampling and test methodologies.
In addition, specific bacteria were associated with the obese phenotype (Halomonas and Sphingomonas), as were lower total bacterial counts and lower Bifodobacterial counts; furthermore, differences in microbial community composition correlated with differences in metabotypes.
Together these studies showed that the gut microbiota was generally altered in the obese host and could contribute to host adiposity in humans and mice.
Be that as it may, the following studies do point the strong influence of gut bacteria on body weight. Rather than the composition of the diet, another factor that may be important to consider is how the food is ingested throughout the day, for instance, how long the fasting periods last.
Fasted mice have been shown to harbor a greater proportion of Bacteroidetes in their ceca compared with unfasted mice with equivalent body fat.
Thus, the frequency with which food enters the bowel and its transit time may be important factors to control for, or at least note, when comparing studies in humans.

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