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Microbial ecology

Human gut microbes associated with obesity

Naturevolume 444pages10221023 (2006) | Download Citation



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.

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Author information


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

    • Ruth E. Ley
    • , Peter J. Turnbaugh
    • , Samuel Klein
    •  & Jeffrey I. Gordon


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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jeffrey I. Gordon.

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  1. Supplementary information

    The Supplementary Information contains: 1) Supplementary Methods 2) Supplementary References 3) Supplementary Table

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