Emerging Evidence Shows That Gut Bacteria Control Your Appetite

Earlier this year I published an article where I hypothesised that the human microbiome influences food cravings and dietary habits. I discussed the relationship between diet, gut microbiota, and food cravings, and how the microbiome impacts behaviour. A newly published review in the Journal of Bacteriology (9 November 2012) cites more evidence supporting the hypothesis (1).

The following is a short abstract of the article: “To help investigate the relationship between inflammatory and other diseases and the composition of the gut microbiota, we propose that a positive feedback loop exists between the preferences of the host for a particular dietary regime, the composition of the gut microbiota that depends on this regime, and the preferences of the host as influenced by the gut microbiota. We cite evidence in support of this hypothesis and make testable predictions.”

More studies are needed before we can establish how important microorganisms are compared to other factors in regulating our appetite. The emerging research in this field will have a definite impact on how we think about obesity, microbiota, dietary regime, and behaviour. It’s really exciting to think that we can potentially alter the gut microbiome and thereby influence our food preferences.

1. Norris V, Molina F, Gewirtz AT. Hypothesis: bacteria control host appetites.
J Bacteriol. 2012 Nov 9. [Epub ahead of print]


  1. […] about the microbiome in relation to mental disorders such as ADHD and autism, and also how the gut microbiota affect our appetite and food preferences. In this post I’ll highlight some new research, summarize what we know about the gut-brain […]


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