Brief Communications

Nature 444, 1022-1023 (21 December 2006) | doi:10.1038/4441022a; Received 8 October 2006; Accepted 10 November 2006; Published online 21 December 2006

Microbial ecology: Human gut microbes associated with obesity

Ruth E. Ley1, Peter J. Turnbaugh1, Samuel Klein1 & Jeffrey I. Gordon1

Two groups of beneficial bacteria are dominant in the human gut, the Bacteroidetes and the Firmicutes. Here we show that the relative proportion of Bacteroidetes is decreased in obese people by comparison with lean people, and that this proportion increases with weight loss on two types of low-calorie diet. Our findings indicate that obesity has a microbial component, which might have potential therapeutic implications.

  1. Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri 63108, USA

Correspondence to: Jeffrey I. Gordon1 Email: jgordon@wustl.ed

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