The gut microbiome is comprised of different microorganisms with various compositions among people. Scientists think that they can determine overall health by regulating mental state, immune function, and metabolism.
A recent study published in the journal mSystems has examined how different compositions of gut microbiome would affect the process of weight loss in individuals.
In this process, scientists from the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle included 105 people enrolling in a program for commercial behavioural wellness.
They collected and analysed BMI and weight data, as well as examined blood samples at the beginning and 6 to 12 months later. In addition, stool samples and dietary information were collected at the onset.
Results from blood samples can be used for measuring levels of proteins and metabolites, while stool samples can help with the determination of gut microbiota function and composition. More specifically, researchers identified the most abundant genetic components to predict the function of the whole gut microbiome.
The results suggested that 48 out of 105 participants lost around 1 percent of their body weight each month. The others did not report any weight loss.
After that, scientists created a subgroup of the 15 people who experienced the most significant weight loss and the 10 people who experienced the least significant weight loss. They then measured gut microbiome function and composition from this group to find the link between some variables, such as blood proteins and metabolites and dietary patterns with weight loss.
They found that people with higher BMIs at the beginning of the study experienced more significant weight losses.
More importantly, the results suggested that the functional feature of gut microbiota genes may help predict how much people can lose weight. There was a big difference in the number of microbiome genes between the more-weight-loss and no-weight loss participants.
This study would result in diagnostics for determining those who would need more interventions for weight loss or those who only need to make some lifestyle changes.
In addition, the authors believe that the results imply that the genes and organisms are responsible for weight loss resistance or loss success.
They also acknowledged that there were several limitations in this project. The study only examined baseline dietary patterns rather than tracking detailed dietary records during the whole duration.
Future research should track the whole duration to verify the link between the baseline gut microbiomes and dietary duration in predicting the responses for weight loss.