Your appetite is possibly controlled by your gut bacteria

During a recent study, researchers have discovered chemical clues which indicate that there are certain bacteria in the belly that instruct our brain to stop eating when they are themselves full.

The study has revealed that around 20 minutes after a person eats something, E. coli bacteria, a bacterium type found widely in human gut, start producing proteins which according to the scientists have connections with a hormone known for creating appetite suppressing response in our brain.

This study is one of the first to explore mechanisms by means of which microbial activities are connected to behavioral responses in the human body.

The findings of the study are suggesting that items we eat are not only benefiting us, but also all the microbes in our belly. Here, it must be mentioned that our body plays host to more microbes than the entire human population on Earth. To be more precise, the difference is really big.

Each human body is home to around 100 trillion fungi, viruses, and bacteria. This shouldn’t leave you worried as the majority of these microscopic squatters are not meant for creating troubles for their host. Many of them are benign while there are others that are absolutely beneficial. The beneficial microbes help our cells to fight off infections and process nutrients.

The digestive system is the largest microbial hub a human body has. As much as 70% of all the microbes our body possess live in our colon. E. coli is one of many bacteria species living there. This name might make us think about some unpleasant associations with digestive distress and bowel disorders, but the fact is that every healthy gut has bacteria of this species. Now, this new study is suggesting that E. coli might even be the primary factor responsible for the kind of eating habits we have.

Whenever we eat, the nutrients in the food consumed by us also get absorbed by the microbes in our digestive system. This in turn stimulates their reproduction. Researchers are suspecting that it will be beneficial for the gut bacteria if they can somehow help their host in regulating food intake. By doing so, the microbes will be able to control their population. This belief made the researchers look for signs of changes in E. coli activity in relation to feeding.

The study was published online in the popular science journal Cell Metabolism on November 24.