Introduction to the human gut microbiota and its effect in weight regulation
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There has been a rapid increase in the number of overweight and obese individuals worldwide in the past 50 years. It has been assumed that an increased caloric intake and a more sedentary lifestyle are the main causes of this rise. However, recent evidence has shown that the microbes that live in the human gastrointestinal tract may play a role in the regulation of weight and obesity development. These microbes, termed the gut microbiota, are commensal and symbiotic microbes that are densely populated throughout an individual's gastrointestinal tract. This paper presents the relevant research and possible mechanisms of how these microbes, mainly bacteria, are thought to play a role in weight regulation and obesity.