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Analyzing Infant Gut Microbiome Composition Can Provide Hint for Future Obesity Risk

Research indicates that the human digestive tract harbors nearly 200 distinct species of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Maintaining a healthy gut is crucial for overall well-being. Recently, a novel study has uncovered a potential link between gut bacteria in toddlers and their likelihood of developing obesity later in life.

Conducted by Gaël Toubon and his team at Université Sorbonne Paris, the study examined data from 512 infants who were part of a larger research project monitoring the lives of 18,000 children born in France. The researchers monitored the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the participants aged 2-5 years. Stool samples were collected from the participants at 3.5 years of age. 

The results depicted a positive correlation between BMI scores at the age of 5 years and the ratio of two specific types of gut bacteria (Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes) associated with obesity.

The study highlighted that a higher abundance of Bacteroidetes in the gut was linked to a reduced likelihood of obesity. Conversely, the increased presence of Eubacterium hallii group, Fusicatenibacter, and Eubacterium ventriosum group was identified as a risk factor for higher BMI scores. These findings were presented at the European Congress of Obesity.

Further, the study detected variations in gut bacteria composition between adults with obesity and those who were lean. The findings were consistent with previous evidence and suggested that alterations in the gut microbiota, which contribute to adult obesity, may originate during early childhood.

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