Gut Bacteria Linked to Food Addiction

( – There could be hope for people who just can’t stop eating. Researchers have been examining the gut bacteria of compulsive eaters, and they think they’ve found a possible cause. Food addicts have different levels of bacteria than those who can control their appetites.

With more than 40% of US adults suffering from obesity, overeating is a serious health problem. That makes it important to understand why some people eat far more than they need to, especially when obesity is highest among the poorest Americans — the people who’re suffering most from the Biden administration’s inflation.

Now scientists think they might have found an answer. The British Medical Journal’s specialist journal “Gut” has just published a study that analyzed the intestinal bacteria of people who suffer from compulsive eating, and compared it with people who don’t.

What the researchers found is a clear difference in levels of three groups of bacteria. Food addicts had much more bacteria from the Proteobacteria family. Meanwhile, normal eaters had higher levels from the Actinobacteria family. Obviously, while this suggests a connection, it leaves a big question unanswered — are the changed bacteria levels a symptom of food addiction, or are they actually causing it?

The scientists went further, though. When they ran more tests on both humans and mice they found that the food addicts (in both species) also had lower levels of another bacteria, Blautia Wexlerae. Researchers then fed the addicted mice with non-digestible carbohydrates that stimulate the growth of Blautia bacteria. The bacteria multiplied rapidly — and the mice showed “dramatic improvements in food addiction.”

The research suggests that adjusting gut bacteria levels could help food addicts overcome their eating problems. Encouraging beneficial bacteria seems to help in mice; if it works in people, too, that could be great news for Americans who are struggling to lose weight.

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