Scientists at the University of Copenhagen recently discovered that some microbes extract more energy from food than others. People who have these super-biomes then might have more food leftover to be stored as fat.
In other words, if you gain weight easily, your gut microbiome might just be really, really good at its job.
Researchers measured the leftover energy in study participants’ excreted matter (ahem, their poop) to estimate how well their gut bacteria extracted energy from their meals, all while closely studying the types of microbes in each of their guts.
The scientists found that approximately 40% of the participants had gut microbial makeups that extracted energy more efficiently. That group of people also tended to weigh about 20 pounds more.
“We may have found a key to understanding why some people gain more weight than others, even when they don’t eat more or any differently,” Henrik Roager, Ph.D., a study author, said in a statement.