Examination of a woman complaining of continuous diarrhea and acute abdominal pain revealed acute inflammation of the colon caused by Clostridia. Taking into account the resistance of the bacteria to antibiotics, the patient was offered an experimental but effective method of therapy – transplantation of donor microbiota (intestinal microflora). After the introduction of 600 ml of a suspension of donor feces into the patient’s intestines, relapses of the disease were no longer observed – the donor’s microbiota successfully displaced the pathogen and occupied its niches.
However, a year later, the woman complained to the doctor about rapid weight gain, while all her life before transplantation she had a normal and stable body weight. From the moment of the procedure, the increase was 15 kg, and the total body weight reached 77 kg with a height of 155 cm. Despite fitness and diet, the patient’s weight soon exceeded 80 kg. The doctor noted that the generally healthy donor is also overweight and allowed the possibility of “contamination” with obesity through the microbiota. At first glance, such a bold assumption has a solid evidence base. In this article, I will discuss the effect of microbiota on digestion and why species diversity decreases and uniformity increases the risk of obesity.
The probability of inheriting obesity reaches 80%, however, individual differences in the nuclear genome account for less than 2% of the variability in body weight in the population. In addition, the nuclear genome is passed to the child almost equally from each parent, but children inherit obesity with a significantly higher frequency from their mothers. This phenomenon is often explained by the influence on the metabolism of mitochondria, which have their own DNA and which are absent in the head of the sperm, therefore the mitochondrial genome is inherited by the embryo only from the mother’s egg.
However, results from a study of the mitochondrial genome explain even fewer cases of inheritance of obesity. Thus, if the inheritance of this disease is only partially mediated by the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, then maybe obesity is transmitted to children mainly through the third human genome – the microbiome (a set of genes of the microbiota), which is also inherited from the mother?Поділитися цим: