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上海科学家发现肥胖“秘密”

2012-12-21 08:03| 发布者: yuqj| 查看: 80| 评论: 0|原作者: yuqj

Obesity could be caused by bacterial infection rather than eating too much, exercising too little or genetics, according to a study that could have profound implications for public health systems, the pharmaceutical industry and food manufacturers.

The discovery in China followed an eight-year search by scientists across the world to explain the link between gut bacteria and obesity.

Researchers in Shanghai identified the human bacteria linked with obesity, fed it to mice and compared their weight gain with rodents without the bacteria. The latter did not become obese despite being fed a high-fat diet and being prevented from exercising.

“This is a very important phenomenon,” said Professor Liping Zhao, who with a team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University carried out the research. “It is the last missing piece of evidence bacteria causes obesity.”

Other academics not linked to the project were quick to seize on its potential implications.

Dr David Weinkove, lecturer in biological sciences at Durham University, said: “If obesity is caused by bacteria, it could be infectious and picked up from some unknown environmental factor, or a parent. It might not be behavioural after all.” Dr Weinkove said Dr Zhao’s research paved a way to intervene in obesity and could allow drugs to be developed for treatment.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology.

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