Phages, poop, obesity, and diabetes — together at last

Published May 4, 2020

Fecal trans­plants could reduce obe­si­ty and even dia­betes — so found those shifty Danes at the University of Copenhagen. Instead of the bac­te­ria in the poop, though, it’s the bac­te­rio­phages that need to make the move. (They’re virus­es that attack bac­te­ria, and you’ll be hear­ing plen­ty more about them, for sure.)

Each type of phage typ­i­cal­ly tar­gets a sin­gle type of bac­te­ria. So the phages in healthy poop seem to be killing unhealthy bac­te­ria in the trans­plantee’s gut. And when you make the gut bio­me health­i­er, good things happen.

“When we trans­mit virus par­ti­cles from the fae­ces of lean mice to obese ones, the obese mice put on sig­nif­i­cant­ly less weight com­pared to those that do not receive trans­plant­ed fae­ces.” The method also seems to pro­tect the mice against devel­op­ing glu­cose intolerance.

Tags: , , , , ,