According to a recent study done by the researchers, it was revealed that gut bacteria may affect circadian rhythms and metabolism leading to weight gain in some people. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle. These rhythms are communicated and carried out via signals sent from the brain and liver.
The researchers from University of Chicago stated that mice with a normal set of gut microbes showed evidence of a regular daily microbial cycle, with different species flourishing in different parts of the day and producing different compounds. These compounds appeared to act on the liver and affected how circadian clock genes were expressed in the liver. Also a high-fat diet reduced the variation in the microbial cycle and the circadian clock genes were disrupted and the mice gained weight.
“The earlier explanation for microbiome-related weight gain was that some bacteria make calories from food more available to your body, but this is a fundamental alternative explanation,” said Jack Gilbert, microbial ecologist at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.
The study appeared in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.