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My Bacteria are Full

man holds stomach, gesturing that he's full

Half Full/Half Empty

We've been hearing a lot about the importance of gut bacteria to our health. Now, it turns out, that bacteria also have a say in how and when we eat.

Our gut microbes depend on us for a place to live and nutrition to survive. They have a stake in how often and how much we eat. So it makes sense that they should be able to communicate to us when they need a snack.

Researchers found that 20 minutes after a meal, E. coli bacteria in the gut produced different kinds of proteins than they did before the meal. That happens to be the same amount of time it takes for a person to begin feeling full after a meal. Excited that there might be a link there, they did further testing.

Peptide YY

They injected doses of the bacterial proteins into both hungry and well‑fed rats and mice. Analysis showed that the protein produced by the full bacteria stimulated the release of peptide YY, a hormone associated with feeling full. They also found that hungry bacteria did not release the protein.

The bacteria are using the body's chemical signaling system to tell a person they are full.

And though they help us feel full, those bacteria can't help us with impulse controlwhen it comes to that second piece of cake.

Read More:

"Gut Commensal E.Coli Proteins Activate Host Satiety Pathways following Nutrient‑Induced Bacterial Growth" (Cell Metabolism)

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