Gut bacteria responsible for compulsive eating, obesity, study finds


A new researcher has identified a specific gut bacteria associated with both mice and human for compulsive eating disorder and obesity. The research was presented Thursday at the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum 2024.

Researchers also found another bacteria that can fight the disorder.

While until now, the mechanisms underlying this behavioural disorder were largely unknown, the new findings, also published in the journal Gut, could be used as potential new treatments for this obesity-related behaviour.

“Potential new treatments could involve using beneficial bacteria and dietary supplementation,” said Rafael Maldonado, from the Laboratory of Neuropharmacology-NeuroPhar at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain.

In the study, the team investigated the gut bacteria in mice who were and were not addicted to food.

They found an increase in bacteria belonging to a group called the Proteobacteria phylum and a decrease in bacteria belonging to the Actinobacteria phylum in the food-addicted mice.

These mice also had a decrease in the amount of another type of bacteria called Blautia from the Bacillota phylum.

Similar to the findings in mice, decreases in the Actinobacteria phylum and Blautia were seen among people with addiction to food and an increase in the Proteobacteria phylum.

“The findings in both mice and humans suggested that specific microbiota could be protective in preventing food addiction,” said Elena Martin-Garcia, from the varsity.

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