Summary: The composition and amount of gut bacteria in infants at age 3.5 can predict their body mass index (BMI) at age 5, regardless of age at birth, a new study reports.

The findings suggest that changes in the gut microbiota associated with adult obesity may begin in childhood.

The study highlighted specific types of gut bacteria that were most predictive of BMI at age 5. Gut microbiota, with its influence in weight gain, has emerged as a critical factor in early life.

Key facts:

  1. Infant gut bacterial composition and size may predict future BMI, regardless of prematurity.
  2. Differences in the gut bacteria of adults living with obesity have been identified, suggesting that changes that predispose adults to obesity may begin in childhood.
  3. Certain strains of gut bacteria were found to be highly predictive of a child’s BMI at age 5.

Source: European Association for the Study of Obesity

The makeup and amount of gut bacteria in children at 3.5 years of age predicts body mass index (BMI) at 5 years of age, regardless of whether they were born prematurely or not, presented at this year’s European Congress. on Obesity (Eco) in Dublin, Ireland (May 17-20).

The findings also indicated differences in the bacteria that colonize the gut in adults living with obesity, suggesting that changes in the gut microbiota in early childhood predispose to adult obesity.

The composition of the gut microbiota develops and changes during the first months and years of life, and disruption of its development is associated with conditions in later life such as inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, and childhood obesity.

This shows a toddler and cartoon bacteria.
The findings also indicated differences in the bacteria that colonize the gut in adults living with obesity, suggesting that changes in the gut microbiota in early childhood predispose to adult obesity. Credit: Neuroscience News

However, the changes between gut microbiota and both BMI in childhood and overweight in children are not clear, and data on premature babies are scarce.

For more information, the study—led by Mr. Gael Tubon from Inserm, Université Paris City and Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, Paris, France—examined how the gut microbiota of children at 3.5 years of age was associated with two French national birth cohorts. BMI at 5 years and changes in BMI between 2 and 5 years of age, after adjusting for confounding factors including child age and sex, gestational age, mode of delivery, always breastfed, maternal preconception BMI, and country of origin.

In total, 143 preterm infants (born less than 32 weeks of age) from EPIPAGE2 – a national survey of all maternity and neonatal units in France in 2011 and 369 full-term infants (born more than 33 weeks of age) from ELFE – a sample of 18,000 infants born in metropolitan France in 2011 were included. A national study that monitors life.

Stool samples were collected over 3.5 years. Genetic microbiota profiling showed a positive relationship between BMI z-score (body mass index based on gender at each age group) at 5 years and gut bacteria ratio. Firmicutes Toh Bacteroidetes Directly related to obesity – more Bacteroidetes (compared to Firmicutes), tend to be thin individuals.

“The reason these gut bacteria affect weight is because they control how much fat we take in,” Tuben says. “Children with a high ratio Firmicutes to the Bacteroidetes It consumes more calories and you are more likely to gain weight.

The analysis also found that six distinct types of gut bacteria significantly predicted BMI z-score at age 5.

There are three categories of bacteria:Eubacterium hallii group, FusicatenibacterAnd Eubacterium ventriosum groupThey were identified as a risk factor for high BMI z-score; And there are three types of bacteria in large numbers:Eggerthella, colistrebacterAnd Ruminococcaceae CAG-352-Associated with lower BMI z-score.

Interestingly, some bacterial strains were associated with changes in BMI z-scores between the ages of 2 and 5 years, indicating that some were involved in the rapid increase in BMI z-scores between 2 and 5 years, while others were not. Protect yourself from this rapid growth.

The researchers also found that both predicted steroid hormone biosynthesis and biotin (a B vitamin involved in various metabolic processes) metabolic pathways of the gut microbiota were associated with a lower 5-year BMI z-score.

“These findings indicate that what is related to the gut microbiota is not only about which bacteria are involved, but also what they are doing,” Tubon said.

Importantly, preterm birth had no effect on later BMI.

“The gut microbiota is emerging as an important early-life factor that may influence weight gain in childhood and later in life,” Tuben says.

“Our findings show how imbalances in different groups of bacteria play an important role in the development of obesity.”

“Further research is needed to investigate the specific bacterial species that influence risk and protection and to better understand when the gut microbiota is conducive to obesity and therefore the right timing of possible interventions.”

So obesity research news

Author: S. Bryant
Source: European Association for the Study of Obesity
Contact: S Bryant – European Association for the Study of Obesity
Image: Image credited to Neuroscience News.

Preliminary study: The findings will be presented at the European Obesity Congress (ECO).

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