Are some people’s guts simply more efficient than others’ at extracting calories from food?
"The immune system determines levels of inflammation in the gut that are constantly shaping the way we digest food—how many calories get absorbed, and how many nutrients simply pass through."
We have known for decades that microbes and weight gain are related as it was witnessed with animals for so long. Antibiotics added to animal feed helped the animals grow faster and bigger.
The author postulates that "just as antibiotics are associated with faster growth in cattle, a decrease in diversity in the human microbiome is associated with obesity." The antibiotics killed a lot of helpful microbiomes in humans.
"...preliminary research has shown that adding even a single bacterial species to a person’s gut can alter her metabolism. In a clinical trial reported last month in the journal Nature Medicine, people who took a probiotic containing Akkermansia muciniphila—which is typically found in greater amounts in non-obese people—saw subtle metabolic improvements, including weight loss.
The study authors are not suggesting that anyone go out and buy this bacterium. But they call it a “proof of concept” for the idea that it’s possible to change a person’s microbiome in ways that have metabolic benefits."
The immune system helps control what goes on with the gut microbiomes.
Zac Stephens, a microbial ecologist at the University of Utah offers some advice. “Keeping diverse gut microbes with diverse dietary sources is probably the safest advice for now,” he says. “That will stimulate a healthy, strong immune system that can learn and regulate and do all the things it does, in ways we’re just beginning to understand.”