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Cedars-Sinai study: Obesity may be linked to microorganisms living in the gut

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How much a person eats may be only one of many factors that determines weight gain. A recent Cedars-Sinai study suggests that a breath test profile of microorganisms inhabiting the gut may be able to tell doctors how susceptible a person is to developing obesity.

The study, published online Thursday by The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, shows that people whose breath has high concentrations of both hydrogen and methane gasses are more likely to have a higher body mass index and higher percentage of body fat.

“This is the first large-scale human study to show an association between gas production and body weight – and this could prove to be another important factor in understanding one of the many causes of obesity”, said lead author Ruchi Mathur, MD, director of the Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center in the Division of Endocrinology at Cedars-Sinai.

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