Diets don’t yield the same results for everyone. We all know one person who could have any diet and not gain or lose a pound, and another who stops drinking soda for a week and somehow drops five pounds. Though we know every body is different, it’s difficult to trace the exact diet that will work for you—until now. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen recently discovered the role of certain intestinal bacteria in determining how receptive (in terms of weight loss) your body is to diet and exercise.
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According to the study, which examined weight patterns in 54 participants that were instructed to follow either the Danish national dietary guidelines or the New Nordic diet for 26 weeks, only about half of the population examined lost additional weight from the stricter diet. That same half of the population happened to have something in common: a high proportion of Prevotella bacteria in comparison with Bacteroides. Those with a low proportion of Prevotella weren’t affected weight-wise by strict dietary guidelines.
Though it’s just the beginning and we still don’t know exactly which bacteria lends itself to weight loss through which method, this study marks a huge breakthrough in personalizing diets based on biomarkers like stool and blood samples. Now, scientists can begin to research the other factors that influence your body’s receptiveness to different diets and finally work away from the “one-size-fits-all” idea that pervades the health culture.