Gut flora in the north is different than in the south



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Influence of latitude on human intestinal flora
12.02.2014

According to US researchers, the number of certain bacteria in the human gut varies depending on the climate zone. In colder regions, therefore, the locals are more prone to obesity than in warmer regions. This is an advantage because less heat is lost when the weight is higher.

Evolutionary sense According to a study, the human intestinal flora could also vary with the respective climate zones. According to US researchers in the British Society's "Biology Letters", on average there are more bacteria in colder regions that cause a higher weight. This makes sense from an evolutionary point of view, since less heat is lost in living beings with a higher weight because the relationship between surface and volume is more favorable for them.

Bacterial strains that help determine weight The two scientists Taichi Suzuki from the University of California at Berkeley and Michael Worobey from the University of Arizona at Tucson had taken the data from a total of 1,020 subjects from 23 countries into account from six previous studies. The focus was on Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, two strains of bacteria in the human intestine that help determine a person's weight. Previously, studies had shown that the likelihood of pathological overweight (obesity) increases with increasing proportion of firmicutes and decreasing proportion of bacteroidetes bacteria.

Relationship between latitude and place of residence Furthermore, the data analysis showed that there is a connection between latitude of the respective place of residence and the share of firmicutes. According to this, a subject had the more of the tiny “fattening agents” on average in the digestive tract, the cooler his living area. The proportion of bacteroidetes decreased, but not to the same extent.

Effective fat burning important in colder regions The extremely efficient Firmicutes can convert almost all food components into nutritious sugar and fat molecules and even fiber is almost completely used. The result of this is that people with a higher proportion of firmicutes in the intestine are more likely to gain weight, according to the researchers. "Effective fat burning and the conversion of nutrients is more important for residents of colder regions than in warmer climates." (Sb)

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