Gut bacteria blamed for weight gain

Updated 19 December 2012
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Gut bacteria blamed for weight gain

SHANGHAI: Chinese researchers have identified a bacteria which may cause obesity, according to a new paper suggesting diets that alter the presence of microbes in humans could combat the condition.
Researchers in Shanghai found that mice bred to be resistant to obesity even when fed high-fat foods became excessively overweight when injected with a kind of human bacteria and subjected to a rich diet. The bacterium — known as enterobacter — had been linked with obesity after being found in high quantities in the gut of a morbidly obese human volunteer, said the report, written by researchers at Shanghai’s Jiaotong University.
The mice were injected with the bacterium for up to 10 weeks as part of the experiment. The experiments show that the bacterium “may causatively contribute to the development of obesity” in humans, according to the paper published in the peer-reviewed journal of the International Society for Microbial Ecology.
A human patient lost over 30 kilograms in nine weeks after being placed on a diet of “whole grains, traditional Chinese medicinal foods and prebiotics,” which reduced the bacterium’s presence in the patient’s gut to “undetectable” levels, the paper said. One of the report’s authors, Zhao Liping, lost 20 kilograms in two years after adopting a diet of fermented probiotic foods such as bitter melon to adjust the balance of bacteria in his gut, the American magazine Science said in an article this year on his previous research. Zhao’s work on the role of bacteria in obesity is inspired by traditional Chinese beliefs that the gut is the “foundation for human health,” Science reported. The scientists wrote in their latest paper that they “hope to identify more such obesity-inducing bacteria from various human populations” in future research.
Obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980, according to the World Health Organization, with more than 500 million adults worldwide suffering from the condition according to 2008 statistics.


Paramount announces Elton John biopic

Updated 20 April 2018
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Paramount announces Elton John biopic

NEW YORK: Paramount has agreed to fund and distribute “Rocketman,” a biopic about British entertainer Elton John, a spokesman for the US studio said on Thursday.
The film will star Taron Egerton (“Kingsman,” “Eddie the Eagle“), who will sing the songs featured in the film, the spokesman said.
And it will be directed by Dexter Fletcher, who also helmed a biopic about another British singer — Freddie Mercury of the group Queen.
Filming is scheduled to begin this summer.
John, who in the 1980s became one of the first openly gay major celebrities, has announced that he plans to “go out with a bang” with a massive final global tour that will open on September 8 and last through 2021.