Agriculture
Seeds of the Future
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders
Poison Dart Frogs
Animals
Walks on the Wild Side
Ant Invasions Change the Rules
Odor-Chasing Penguins
Behavior
Memory by Hypnosis
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Why Cats Nap and Whales Snooze
Birds
Roadrunners
Parrots
Blue Jays
Chemistry and Materials
Undercover Detectives
Nanomagnets Corral Oil
Cold, colder and coldest ice
Computers
Lighting goes digital
It's a Small E-mail World After All
The Shape of the Internet
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Digging for Ancient DNA
The man who rocked biology to its core
Supersight for a Dino King
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Plastic-munching microbes
Environment
Saving Wetlands
Shrinking Fish
A Stormy History
Finding the Past
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Fakes in the museum
Early Maya Writing
Fish
White Tip Sharks
Parrotfish
Mahi-Mahi
Food and Nutrition
Chew for Health
Chocolate Rules
Making good, brown fat
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. Whom
Adjectives and Adverbs
Finding Subjects and Verbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Scholarship
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Losing with Heads or Tails
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Human Body
Fighting Off Micro-Invader Epidemics
Sleeping Soundly for a Longer Life
Disease Detectives
Invertebrates
Oysters
Horseshoe Crabs
Giant Squid
Mammals
Dingoes
Mongooses
Woolly Mammoths
Parents
Children and Media
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Extra Strings for New Sounds
The Particle Zoo
Road Bumps
Plants
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Fastest Plant on Earth
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Reptiles
Cobras
Anacondas
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Witnessing a Rare Venus Eclipse
A Darker, Warmer Red Planet
A Dusty Birthplace
Technology and Engineering
Switchable Lenses Improve Vision
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
Crime Lab
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Noun
Transportation
Middle school science adventures
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Add your Article

Gut Microbes and Weight

Health experts have long worried about the increasing rate of obesity in kids. It's an important concern: Being very overweight or obese during childhood can lead to serious problems normally seen in adults, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Poor diets and a lack of exercise are usually the culprits. But would you ever have imagined there might be a connection between the bacteria that lived in your gut when you were a baby and the chance that you would become overweight? Scientists in Finland recently found just such a link. In a recent study, they showed that as infants overweight children had different species of bacteria living in their guts, or intestines, than did normal-weight kids. You probably think of bacteria only as germ that can make you sick. While it's true that some bacteria can make people ill, your body actually depends on some types of bacteria to help you digest food and extract nutrients from it. These "good" bacteria live in your intestines, where they process the food you eat. Human babies get these bacterial helpers from their moms. When a baby is born, some of tghe bacteria in the mother transfer into the baby's body. Growing babies get additional "good" bacteria from the milk their mothers produce. And it turns out this bacteria might play an important role in regulating weight just six years later. The research team examined the intestinal bacteria that lived in a group of 7-year-olds when they were babies. The children were already part of another long-term study, so the scientists had collected their data years ago, when the children were 6 months old and again when they were a year old. The researchers found that kids who were normal weight at age 7 had high levels of a species called Bifidobacterium (pronounced bih-FY-doh-bac-TEER-ee-um) in their intestines as babies. They also had low levels of other bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, or staph for short. The researchers found exactly the opposite pattern in overweight 7-year-olds. As babies, the heavy kids had fewer Bifidobacterium and higher amounts of staph. So how could these bacteria affect weight? The researchers still haven't tested that question. But they point out that staph—the bacteria found in high amounts in babies who grew up to become overweight—has been linked to a condition called inflammation. Other studies have shown a connection between inflammation and obesity. Could the staph in some babies' intestines lead to inflammation, and therefore to obesity? Scientists can't say yet, but future tests might lead to an answer. The results also suggest that some bacteria might protect people from becoming overweight in the first place. In this study, high levels of Bifidobacterium bacteria were associated with a lower chance of becoming overweight. Bifidobacterium is also found in the milk mothers produce—and earlier studies have shown a link between breastfeeding and a lower chance of becoming obese. Taken together, these data suggest this type of bacteria plays an important role in preventing obesity. This information could lead to new ways to control weight gain, the researchers say.—Jennifer Cutraro

Gut Microbes and Weight
Gut Microbes and Weight








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™