The type and diversity of bacteria in your gut could be a factor in the size of your waistline, according to a study from the University Medical Center Groningen in The Netherlands. Gut bacteria samples were compared to body mass index (BMI) and blood lipids in 893 people. Results showed that 34 types of bacteria were associated with people’s triglycerides and HDL levels and with BMI. Lack of diversity in gut bacteria also was linked to increased body weight. Factors associated with a less diverse microbiome included C-sections, lack of breast feeding, and diets filled with processed foods.
In Perspective: It is unclear whether this lack of microbiome diversity is a result or the cause of poor eating habits. It is clear this microbiome can be altered through diet, including eating more colorful fruits and vegetables, seafood, fiber-rich whole grains, and other real foods.
Fu J, Bonder M, Cenit M, et al: The gut microbiome contributes to a substantial proportion of the variation in blood lipids. Circulation Research 2015;September 10th.