Some researchers believe as many as 100 trillion gut bacteria may be living in a normal, healthy gut. Scientists at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands explored what affects gut bacteria may have on our health. They found that gut health may have a major effect on your weight as well as several types of fats in your blood1. In particular, high density lipoproteins (HDL), the good cholesterol, and triglycerides were affected by the bacteria while low density lipoproteins (LDL), the bad cholesterol, and other ratios of blood fats remained unaffected.
This is a big deal since the role of gut bacteria and our blood cholesterol levels was previously unknown. This brings new light to the connections between gut health and weight loss. In the light of this new evidence, some scientists now believe that these bacteria may contribute to many blood-fat related diseases including stroke, heart attack, diabetes and hypertension.
How does it affect you and me? Well, the team hopes that its findings would inspire further investigation into the role of gut bacteria in health and disease. This may pave the way for new treatment modalities involving the gut bacteria. The research into how our microbiome interacts with our health is the next great scientific frontier in human health.
Fu J, Bonder MJ, Cenit MC, et al. The Gut Microbiome Contributes to a Substantial Proportion of the Variation in Blood Lipids. Circ Res. 2015;117(9):817-824. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.115.306807.