When the year draws to a close, if not sooner, millions of people make resolutions. And way up high on their list of priorities will be to lose or reduce weight: fewer pounds on their bathroom scales even before it’s warm enough to hit the beach. But what’s the right diet? Paleo diettm, fasting diets, or the programmatically named “Just Eat Half” diet all meet with varying degrees of enthusiasm – and, most importantly: lead to varying levels of success.
It would be great if we were able to predict a diet’s success. And that is possible, at least within limits. Swedish and French scientists have even developed a mathematical model to do so. At the beginning of their study, they determined the participants’ bacterial diversity in the gut flora prior to putting them on a diet. After the diet, they compared weight and faecal and blood disease indicators. They found that overweight individuals with particularly low bacterial diversity in the gut did not only lose weight. The number of their disease indicators also dropped.
If, in future, physicians were aware of a patient‘s bacterial diversity in the gut, they would be able to provide precise dietary instructions which recognise that individual’s gut diversity. If possible, healthy bacteria could be specifically introduced into the gut. The objective: losing weight and, at the same time, improving one’s overall, post-diet physical health.
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