Altered Gut Microbes Can Cause Obesity
Previous reports have linked the gut microbiome to obesity. A recent study has taken this a step further and provided a mechanism for how this may occur. Scientists at Yale, led by Dr. Gerald Shulman, made the observation that acetate stimulates insulin secretion by activation of the parasympathetic nervous system. They made the complimentary observation that rodents that were fed a high-fat diet produced elevated levels of acetate. Next, they used fecal transplantation from high-fat diet rodents to low-fat diet rodents to demonstrate an increase in acetate, and subsequently in insulin, caused by the gut microbiome. These results suggest the gut microbiome regulates insulin release via acetate activation of the parasympathetic nervous system in a positive feedback loop.
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