The bacteria in your gut may be the key to weight loss. Your microbiome is a community of microorganisms that live within you, and it's an important factor when trying to lose or maintain your body weight.
Humans can have up 10 trillion microbes residing inside their bodies; these tiny creatures are capable of influencing how fast we metabolize food for energy -- as well as our propensity for obesity and diabetes risk factors like insulin resistance levels, blood lipids (fats), visceral fat around organs, leptin sensitivity level (which regulates appetite).
Animal and human studies have shown that the gut bacteria of obese people is different than healthy-weight individuals. In some cases, this can lead to an increased risk for obesity by altering our metabolism as well as other important functions within our body such as immunity. Research has also found that when lean mice are given a fecal transplant from obese mice, they will begin gaining weight even if fed the same amount of food or exercise program in comparison with their counterparts who were not transplanted.
As the obesity epidemic continues to grow, future modalities may involve altering the gut microbiome composition to help aid in weight loss.