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Obesity-Related Gut Microflora More Common In Northern Populations

Previous studies have established that obesity is associated with an increase in the bacterial group Firmicutes and a decrease in the bacterial group Bacteroidetes. Now a recent study has discovered that people from cold, northern latitudes tend to have a higher proportion of Firmicutes in their microflora.

For their analysis, the researchers examined data on 1,020 people who lived in 23 different global locations and had participated in six studies. They found that people living in northern areas have more of the obesity-related bacteria Firmicutes in the microflora of their gut, and less Bacteroidetes.

These findings were consistent, regardless of sex, race, age, or bacterial detection methods, and are consistent with Bergman’s Rule, which states that humans and animals in colder climates will be larger in size than those in warmer climates.

The researchers hypothesized that this could indicate that gut bacteria change in order to allow populations to adapt to different environmental conditions.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, conducted the study. It was published in the February 2014 issue of Biology Letters.

If you’re looking to improve gut bacteria diversity, the solution can be as easy as taking a probiotic supplement. Having a varied composition of bacteria in your digestive system is essential for good gut health and for good health overall.

Previous studies have linked healthy gut bacteria with strengthening the immune system, lowering cholesterol levels and improving digestion and oral health.

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