Bacteria in our gut can control our appetite

This study, led by Sergueï O. Fetissov, a professor from Rouen University in France, found that certain strains of gut bacteria, including a benign strain of E.Coli, were capable of sending signals to the brain letting it know when the stomach was full. Their findings suggest that bacteria may even be responsible for regulating the amount of nutrients people consume at meal times

Bacteria in the gut create a particular protein, ClpB, about 20 minutes after we eat and this triggers a hormone which tells the brain to stop eating. Fetissov’s team measured the levels of this protein before and after eating. They found that after eating the bacteria were producing more than twice the amount of the ClpB protein as they did before the stomach was full. This corresponded to the time when most people began to feel as though they had eaten enough food.

This study helps to explain the findings of other studies which indicate a link between imbalances in the microbial population in the gut and a difficulty with weight control.