The deciding factor

  • Published 8.11.17

The deciding factor

Whether a diet works might depend on which bacteria are in your gut. Using feces samples, Danish researchers analysed the ratio of two gut bacteria, Prevotella and Bacteroides, in 62 overweight people. For 26 weeks, they randomly assigned them to a low-fat diet high in fibre, fruits, vegetables and whole grains or a diet comparable to that of the average Dane. Those on the high-fiber diet with a high Prevotella to Bacteroides ratio lost an average of 10.9 pounds (4.9kg) of body fat, 3 1/2 pounds (1.58kg) more than those on the diet with a low ratio. Those on the regular diet with a high Prevotella ratio lost 4 pounds (1.8kg), compared with 5 1/2 (2.49kg) pounds for those with a low ratio, a statistically insignificant difference. The lead author, Mads F. Hjorth, an assistant professor at the University of Copenhagen, said that losing fat, and not muscle mass, is what is most meaningful to improved health.

High BP moms and obese kids

High blood pressure during pregnancy may increase the risk for childhood obesity, a new study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports. In the second and third trimesters, each 10-unit increase in systolic or diastolic blood pressure was associated with a 5 to 8 per cent increase in the risk for childhood obesity. A reading higher than 140/90 in the second trimester was associated with a 49 per cent increase in the risk.