Past studies showed that gut bacteria may play a more significant role in how our metabolism and immune system work than previously thought. But a recent study suggests that you are full when your gut bacteria say so.
A group of researchers found that satiety cues may triggered in at least one more way than past research found. Study authors explained that when gut bacteria ‘feel full’ they release a hormone-like signal that tells the brain it’s time to stop eating.
The study was published this week in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Dr. Sergueï Fetissov, lead author of the study and nutrition expert with the France-based Institute for Research and Innovation in Biomedicine, reached these conclusions after performing several rat experiments.
Laboratory rats were fed with a special nutritional liquid, and researchers watched how their gut bacteria reacted to it. The team focused their research on E. Coli bacteria , which account for 1 percent of human gut microbiome.
Researchers found that E. Coli releases a protein dubbed ClpB, which stimulate the release of human satiety hormones. E. Coli was very responsive to sugar intake. Sugar helped the microorganisms multiply and release even more of the protein after 20 minutes, but the effect was not lasting.
Researchers believe that ClpB may encourage the brain to release GLP-1 and PYY, satiety hormones usually released after meals. The team explained that E. Coli are usually thriving in the colon where they interact with cells that influence the release of the two hormones.
Study authors noticed that the cells reacted differently to E. Coli depending on how fast the bacteria reproduced. Additionally, the rats ate less even if scientists worked on their gut bacteria directly, rather than feeding the animals with the liquid.
“This work is seminal in showing that colon bacteria participate in telling the brain to stop eating,”
noted Dr. Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, a researcher with the New York University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study.
Dominguez-Bello was curious to learn how many more microorganisms influence satiety cues in the human body. The research may explain why some foods don’t make people feel full earlier as compared with other foods. The team found that E. Coli produced more ClpB whenever they were fed with a protein-based syrup than when they were given sugar.
Most people feel full 20 minutes after meals, and satiety cues kick in faster when they consume fats or proteins. Researchers concluded that processed foods do not make us feel full fast and for a prolonged time because they do not feed colon bacteria like fibers do.
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