Junk food kills the gut bacteria that can help keep people thin, new book says. Photo: Angela Wylie
Junk food kills the gut bacteria that can help keep people thin, while Belgian beer and coffee increase them, a new book by a leading academic claims.
Microbes that live in people's bodies make up 90 per cent of living cells and when disrupted could be a major cause of obesity, writes Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King's College London.
Obesity studies: Professor Tim Spector. Photo: Tamara Dean
n a new book called The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat, he researchs the links between microbes, food and health in an attempt to gain an insight into the burgeoning obesity crisis.
Professor Spector's research also found that sweeteners in diet fizzy drinks had adverse affects on metabolism, leading to weight gain, while fasting diets such as the 5:2 diet could benefit microbes and metabolism.
But he found some elements were down to genetics, with a third of people naturally possessing microbes that prevented them from getting fat, while genes even determined some people's preference for salads, broccoli or garlic.
For the past three years Professor Spector has been leading the largest microbiome project in Britain, using genetic sequencing to study the bacteria in the guts of 5000 twins to whom he has access through his Twins UK Registry.
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