Obesity can spread from person to person, much like a virus, researchers have said. A new study has revealed that it can be contagious, so, if you have been working out but not losing weight, you may want to blame your obese roommate, family, colleagues.
According to the research from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, gut bacteria from overweight people spreads to slimmer people, research has found.
Scientists believe gut bacteria can lie dormant in spores for long periods of time, through a form of bacterial hibernation. This means that the bacteria can survive outside the body and potentially transfer between people by being ingested.
It is estimated that around 2% of a person’s body weight is linked to bacteria as it can disrupt a person’s gut microbiome.
In addition to obesity, the research could aid understanding of a variety of conditions including Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and allergies.
Researcher Dr Sam Forster said: The extensive database of genomes we have generated from these bacteria is also essential for studying which bacteria are present or absent in people with gastrointestinal conditions. Now we can start to design mixtures of therapeutics candidates for use in these diseases.
The study is published in Nature journal.