The makeup and size of gut bacteria in young children at age 3.5 predict their body mass index (BMI) at age 5, regardless of whether or not they were born premature, according to new research, presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity (ECO). ) in Dublin, Ireland (May 17-20).
The results also identified differences in the bacteria that colonize the intestines of adults with obesity, suggesting that changes in the gut microbiota that predispose to obesity in adults begin in early childhood.
The composition of the gut microbiota grows and changes in the first few months and years of life and disruption of its growth is associated with later life conditions including inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and childhood obesity.
However, associations between gut microbiota, change in childhood BMI and childhood weight gain remain unclear, and information on infants born prematurely is scarce.
To find out more, the study — led by Gaël Toubon of Inserm, Université Paris Cité and Sorbonne Paris Nord, Paris, France — looked at how the gut microbes of 3.5-year-olds from two French birth cohorts nationwide correlate with their BMI at age 5. years and changes in their BMI between 2 and 5 years, after adjusting for confounding factors including child’s age and sex, gestational age, birth mode, breast-feeding, pre-pregnancy BMI, and country of birth.
Overall, 143 preterm infants (born <32 weeks of gestational age) from EPIPAGE2-; A national study conducted in all maternity and neonatal units in France in 2011-; and 369 full-term infants (born >33 wk. gestational age) of ELFE-; A national study followed the lives of 18,000 babies born in the French capital in 2011.
Fecal samples were collected at 3.5 years. Bacterial genotyping revealed a positive association between the body mass index z-Score (a measure of body weight based on height for each age group by gender) at 5 years and the proportion of gut bacteria Firmicutes ta Germs directly implicated in obesity- ; more Germs (compared to packages), smaller individuals tend to be the same.
The reason gut bacteria influence weight is that they regulate the amount of fat we absorb. children with a higher incidence of packages to Germs You will absorb more calories and you will be more likely to gain weight.”
Mr. Gaël Toubon from Inserm, Paris City University and Sorbonne Paris Nord, Paris, France
The analysis also found that six specific types of gut bacteria were highly predictive of a BMI z-score at 5 years of age.
Greater abundance of three classes of bacteria- ;Eubacterium hallii groupAnd FusicatenibacterAnd Eubacterium ventriosum group-; identified as a risk factor for a higher z-score for BMI; and greater numbers of three types of bacteria;EggerthellaAnd ColidextribacterAnd Ruminococcaceae CAG-352-; It was associated with a low z-score for BMI.
Interestingly, some bacteria were also associated with changes in BMI z-scores between 2 and 5 years, suggesting that some were involved in a higher rate of progression in BMI z-scores between 2 and 5 years, while some were found The other is to be more protected against this faster advance.
In addition, the researchers found that both the predicted biosynthesis of steroid hormones and biotin (a B vitamin involved in a wide range of metabolic processes) metabolic pathways of the gut microbiota were associated with a lower 5-year BMI Z-score.
“These findings suggest that what matters to the gut bacteria is not only the question of which bacteria are involved, but also what they do,” Toppon explains.
Importantly, preterm birth made no difference to BMI later on.
“The gut microbiota is emerging as an important factor early in life that is able to influence weight gain in childhood and beyond,” says Topon. “Our findings reveal how an imbalance in distinct bacterial populations may play an important role in the development of obesity. More research is needed to dig into the specific bacterial species that influence risk and protection and to better understand when a favorable shift to obesity in the gut microbiota may occur. Hence the appropriate timing for possible interventions.