Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) fails to improve obesity, study finds

Hip

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Obesity is linked to higher intestinal levels of certain Firmicutes bacteria in relation to Bacteroidetes bacteria.

Overweight individuals tend have more Firmicutes bacteria in their gut, whereas normal weight individuals tend have more Bacteroidetes bacteria. Ref: 1

This perhaps suggests the bacterial imbalance in the gut might play a causal role in producing obesity and fat gain in the body.


However, a study at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) given to obese subjects, where the FMT donors were normal weight individuals, showed no benefit for reducing obesity.

See: A gut bacteria transplant may not help you lose weight

That negative result suggests the gut bacterial imbalance in those suffering obesity may thus be a consequence of obesity, rather than a cause of obesity.



Though this negative result does not rule out a viral connection to obesity: obesity is associated with adenovirus 36, which is much more prevalent obese people than in non-obese individuals. Ref: 1 And it has been demonstrated that animals experimentally infected with adenovirus 36 will develop increased obesity. Ref: 1
 

msf

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This is rather an odd study in my opinion - I thought they were looking at whether FMT changed the blood chemistry of obesity, rather than seeing whether it made them lose weight. Surely the most effective intervention will always be limiting obese patient's food intake in some way?
 

Belbyr

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Strange study. I could be wrong but everyone I know that is obese, it seems to run in the family and they seem to have a bottomless pit of a stomach/choose poor foods.
 

Hufsamor

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People with normal weight, receiving FMT from an overweight person, have put on weight afterward.
I'm happy for the study and rather surprised by the result...
Very interesting.
 

Hip

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it seems to run in the family
So do viruses run in the family, simply because families live in close social contact, thus are likely to spread viruses to each other.

Thus if obesity is caused by one or more viruses, as the infectobesity theory proposes, you would expect those obesity-causing viruses to be readily transmitted to other family members.




they seem to have a bottomless pit of a stomach
Having a "bottomless pit of a stomach" means something has gone wrong with an individual's hunger/satiety mechanism — a mechanism which involves the hypothalamus.

Humans are programed to eat until their hunger is satisfied (and programed to drink until thirst is satisfied). Thus if there is a malfunction with the hunger/satiety mechanism (which is like the fuel tank gauge on a car), people will keep on eating even though their "tank" is full, because the full state of the stomach is not registering on the gauge.

Again, viruses could explain why the hunger/satiety mechanism goes wrong in some people, which then plays a role in creating obesity: borna disease virus (BDV) can cause obesity in various animals, and studies suggest that BDV causes obesity by inflaming the hypothalamus. I suspect that this inflammation may affect the hunger/satiety mechanism which the hypothalamus helps regulate. This paper suggests this is indeed the case:
Thus, hypothalamic inflammation impairs the effects of insulin and leptin, contributing not only to hyperphagia and obesity development but also to the associated dysregulation of glucose homeostasis.
Interestingly, hypothalamus damage can actually cause obesity even if the individual restricts calories. Ref: 1



Those suffering obesity are often blamed for their condition, just as ME/CFS patients are often blamed (by stupid psychiatrists) for their illness. But in fact, obesity may be yet another disease caused by chronic low-level viral infections which disrupt the normal functioning of certain bodily systems.

When will medical researchers start to learn that chronic low-level infections may be the cause for a plethora of diseases and medical conditions?