On the subject of harvesting vitality, some guts do it higher than others

New analysis from the College of Copenhagen suggests {that a} portion of the Danish inhabitants has a composition of intestine microbes that, on common, extracts extra vitality from meals than the microbes of their fellow Danes’ guts. The analysis is a step in direction of understanding why some folks achieve extra weight than others, even after they eat the identical.

Examine: Stool vitality density is positively correlated to intestinal transit time and associated to microbial enterotypes. Picture Credit score: Lightspring / Shutterstock

Unfair as it’s, a few of us appear to placed on weight simply by a plate of Christmas cookies, whereas others can munch away with abandon and never achieve a gram. A part of the reason may very well be associated to the composition of our intestine microbes. That is based on new analysis carried out on the College of Copenhagen’s Division of Vitamin, Train, and Sports activities.

Researchers studied the residual vitality within the feces of 85 Danes to estimate how efficient their intestine microbes are at extracting vitality from meals. On the identical time, they mapped the composition of intestine microbes for every participant.

The outcomes present that roughly 40 % of the contributors belong to a bunch that, on common, extracts extra vitality from meals in comparison with the opposite 60 %. The researchers additionally noticed that those that pulled essentially the most vitality from meals additionally weighed 10 % extra on common, amounting to an additional 9 kilograms.

“We might have discovered a key to understanding why some folks achieve extra weight than others, even after they do not eat extra or any in another way. However this must be investigated additional,” says Affiliate Professor Henrik Roager of the College of Copenhagen’s Division of Vitamin, Train, and Sports activities.

Associate professor Henrik Roager in the lab. Image Credit: University of Copenhagen

Affiliate professor Henrik Roager within the lab. Picture Credit score: College of Copenhagen

Might improve the chance of weight problems

The outcomes point out that being chubby won’t simply be associated to how wholesome one eats or how a lot train one will get. It might even have one thing to do with the composition of an individual’s intestine microbes. 

Individuals have been divided into three teams primarily based on the composition of their intestine microbes. The so-called B-type composition (dominated by Bacteroides micro organism) is simpler at extracting vitamins from meals and was noticed in 40 % of the contributors.

Following the examine, the researchers suspect {that a} portion of the inhabitants could also be deprived by intestine micro organism which might be too efficient at extracting vitality. This effectiveness might end in extra energy obtainable for the human host from the identical quantity of meals.

“The truth that our intestine micro organism are nice at extracting vitality from meals is principally a superb factor, because the micro organism’s metabolism of meals supplies further vitality within the type of, for instance, short-chain fatty acids , that are molecules that our physique can use as energy-supplying gas. But when we devour greater than we burn, the additional vitality offered by the intestinal micro organism might improve the chance of weight problems over time,” says Henrik Roager.

Brief journey time within the intestine surprises

From mouth to esophagus, abdomen, duodenum, small gut, giant gut, and at last, to the rectum, the meals we eat takes a 12-to-36-hour journey, passing a number of stations alongside the way in which, earlier than the physique has extracted all of the meals’s vitamins.

The researchers additionally studied the size of this journey for every participant, who had comparable dietary patterns. Right here, the researchers hypothesized that these with lengthy digestive journey instances can be those who harvested essentially the most diet from their meals. However the examine discovered the precise reverse.

“We thought that there can be an extended digestive journey time would enable extra vitality to be extracted. However right here, we see that contributors with the B-type intestine micro organism that extract essentially the most vitality, even have the quickest passage by the gastrointestinal system, which has given us one thing to consider,” says Henrik Roager.

Confirms earlier examine in mice

The brand new examine in people confirms earlier research in mice. In these research, it was discovered that germ-free mice that obtained intestine microbes from overweight donors gained extra weight in comparison with mice that obtained intestine microbes from lean donors, regardless of being fed the identical weight loss plan.

Even then, the researchers proposed that the variations in weight achieve may very well be attributable to the truth that the intestine micro organism from overweight folks have been extra environment friendly at extracting vitality from meals. That is the speculation confirmed within the new examine by the Division of Vitamin, Train, and Sports activities.

“It is vitally attention-grabbing that the group of people that have much less vitality left of their stool additionally weigh extra on common. Nonetheless, this examine does not present proof that the 2 elements are instantly associated. We hope to discover this extra sooner or later,” says Henrik Roager. 

About intestine micro organism:

  • Everybody has a singular composition of intestine micro organism – formed by genetics, surroundings, way of life, and weight loss plan.
  • The gathering of intestine micro organism, referred to as the intestine microbiota, is like a complete galaxy in our intestine, with a staggering 100 billion of them per gram of stool.
  • Intestine micro organism within the colon serve to interrupt down meals components that our physique’s digestive enzymes cannot, e.g., dietary fiber.
  • People may be divided into three teams primarily based on the presence and abundance of three principal teams of micro organism that the majority of us have: B-type (Bacteroides), R-type (Ruminococcaceae), and P-type (Prevotella).

In regards to the study

  • The vitality content material of stool specimens from 85 chubby Danish ladies and men was examined.
  • Individuals included women and men from 22 to 66 years previous.
  • Forty % of contributors fell into a bunch characterised by having a decrease range of intestine micro organism and quicker journey time for meals by their digestive tracts.
  • This group was additionally discovered to have much less residual vitality of their stool in comparison with the opposite two teams, which variations in routine weight loss plan couldn’t clarify.
  • The researchers additionally noticed that the group with much less vitality of their stool weighed greater than the opposite teams.


  • Supply: College of Copenhagen – College of Science

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