A new study conducted in mice suggests that gut bacteria influence the intestinal circadian clock to promote a higher intake and retention of lipid content, or fat.
Scientists from the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern in Dallas have recently conducted a study using mice to understand how gut bacteria might interact with the body’s circadian clock to influence weight.
The circadian clock is, in fact, a “collection” of biological clocks in the body, playing an important role in metabolism. These clocks regulate the individual’s various biological rhythms in accordance with the 24-hour day-night cycle.
The researchers, led by Dr. Lora Hooper of UT Southwestern, noticed that the gut microbiome is able to “hack” into and influence the intestinal circadian clock, thus impacting how much fat, or lipids, is absorbed by and stored in the body.
“There is accumulating evidence,” explains lead study author Yuhao Wang, a UT Soutwestern graduate student, “that certain bacteria that live in our gut might predispose us to gain weight, especially when we consume a high-fat, high-sugar ‘Western-style’ diet.”
The study’s findings were published this month in the journal Science.